New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for promotion of sports in the country, saying that this can go a long way in helping national integration.
Digitally launching the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports initiative, which claims to India's largest multi-city school and college sports competition, Modi said youngsters should take to sports to become strong individuals.
"Sports should be an integral part of our everyday life. Some people think that sports is important only for physical well-being, I feel sports is important for overall development of an individual.
"We are a large and diverse nation. Sports can be a great means of national integration," Modi said after interacting with kids from around the country via video-conferencing.
"From sports, we learn sportsman spirit and that acts as a lubricant in our social life. More than winning, sports helps you learn to deal with defeats. Sports helps you become a fighter," he said.
"Sports teaches you not to lose heart after defeats," he added.
The prime minister said sports is an acronym for skill, perseverance, optimism, resilience, tenacity and stamina.
Reliance Foundation Youth Sports initiative is in sync with the Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports' vision of 'Khelo India'.
For the inaugural year, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports will have football competitions in eight cities in four categories i.e. Junior Boys (Grade 7 - 10); Senior Boys (Grade 11 - 12); Senior Girls (Grade 11 12) and College Boys (Graduate institutes).
Participating teams across categories will compete in city qualifiers beginning August, followed by City Championships in October/November and finals to be played in January/February 2017.