Urging the need to create sports cities, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar today said his vision is to see India becoming a multi-sport nation. "I would like to see India as a multi-sport nation. We should also look at creating 'Sports Cities'. There is a need for more and more sports academies to nurture young athletes along with creating new infrastructure to catapult India from a sports-watching nation to a sports playing nation," Tendulkar told PTI on Saturday.
"Every child should have the right to play and have access to infrastructure. Over the years I have seen various sports gaining grounds in terms of awareness in people and the government initiatives towards it. Sports like Badminton, football, kabaddi among others have seen increasing awareness and appreciation towards athletes," Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha MP said.
"Appreciation is important for athletes and has the ability to motivate them to achieve their full potential.
I applaud the 'Khelo India' initiative of the Indian government. It is the step in the right direction, and strong grassroots competitions will surely make us more competitive," Tendulkar said.
Here in the city to promote the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon, Tendulkar who will flag off the race tomorrow further called for a "Swasth Bharat".
"The nation contributes to the overall development of the country. There has been an increase in the number of people suffering from lifestyle diseases over the years. Being fit is not a luxury but the need of the hour. It is the change we need to make if we see ourselves competing with other nations."
"Being associated with the marathons from IDBI Federal gives me an opportunity to spread awareness and inspire people to take up healthy lifestyle habits," Tendulkar said.
Concerned that India has become the diabetes capital of the world, the cricket icon said: "It is not something we should be proud of. Each one can motivate the other to inculcate the habit of walking, exercising, running or taking up one sport and moving towards a healthy lifestyle.