Sport teaches you life lessons, which the four walls of a classroom cannot, says the olympian
Hyderabad: “The biggest lesson sports teaches you is how to lose,” said Neha Aggarwal Sharma, when inaugurating a new table tennis facility at Mansarovar Heights Phase I in Manovikas Nagar, Secunderabad on Sunday. Present on the occasion were her husband and 2007 Youth Commonwealth Games silver medallist Shubham Sharma and Rachana Anandaraman, a Khelo India Games quarter-finalist.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics paddler said, “Sport teaches you life lessons, which the four walls of a classroom cannot. To manage success, which came early in my career is another, even while taking the ups and downs. To come back from defeat and conquer the TT world gave me such strength which I don’t think any school or college can.
“Sport is a great leveller that keeps me grounded. For girls, while keeping them out of their comfort zone, sport makes them confident, smart, team leaders, imparting life and soft skills at a very young age that no IIT or IIM will ever teach them,” added the Columbia University post-graduate in Sports Management.
After two minutes silence was observed in memory of late S.M. Sultan, Senior Vice President of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), unveiled two plaques fitted to two new tables dedicated to the departed official. She then formally inaugurated the tables, by symbolically removing their new covers.
The tables were donated by residents of the gated community, the Andhra Cricket Group and V. Bhaskar Ram, President, Andhra Pradesh Table Tennis Association. Incidentally the last two donors were moved into action by Neha’s motivational video that had urged the 260-odd apartment complex’s residents to take part in a tournament, aimed mostly at children cut off from sports because of Covid 19.
Also at hand was Maduri Venugopal, Gujarathi Seva Mandal TT Academy coach of over two decades, mentor of Nikhat Banu and Varuni Jaiswal among many international TT players. Later, the couple, along with Rachana, a participant in the Asian and World School Games in Singapore and Israel respectively, then autographed Neha’s two life-size posters displayed in the hall and sportingly obliged the last of the selfie-seekers.
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