Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang at the Inaugural Ambassador’s Cup at Indian School Muscat - 21 October 2023

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Inaugural Ambassador’s Cup at Indian School Muscat
October 21, 2023
Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang

Chairman and members of Board of Directors, 

Principal of Indian School Muscat, 

Distinguished guests, teachers, students, parents, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening, Namaskar,

Today is a special day, a day when we gather to celebrate the power of sports. 

I am happy that we are launching a new initiative of 'Ambassador's Cup’, for the promotion of sporting talent in the Indian Schools in Oman. 

I am grateful to the Board of Directors for supporting this initiative proposed by the Embassy of India and would like to place on record my appreciation to Board Member Shri Syed Salman ji who proposed and pursued this idea with great commitment and passion.

The few athletic events that I was fortunate to witness today are testament to the incredible sports talent within the Indian schools of Oman. We need to channelize and support this talent and I am hopeful that ‘Ambassador’s Cup’ will play a role in encouragement, promotion and sustenance of sporting talent in our schools.

Ladies and gentlemen,

For many years in India, sports was derisively referred to a waste of time, or at best a luxury for those who did not have to study to succeed in life. It was said 'Padhoge likhoge to banoge nawab, kheloge kudoge to banoge kharab'. We were told to prioritize education over sports. It was seen as a binary choice. You either studies well or you spent time on the playground.

However, in today's dynamic world, the applicability of this notion is shifting dramatically. The notion that education is the sole path to success is no longer cast in stone. Equally importantly, sports is now seen as a worthy companion to good education, as our conception of good education itself has evolved. 

At the same time, sports are emerging as a serious and rewarding career choice, thanks to the remarkable achievements of athletes on national and international stages. Engaging in sports not only keeps your mind sharp and your body physically fit but can also offer substantial financial rewards and recognition if you're passionate and dedicated enough.

The rapid rise of Indian sports has now burst on to the world stage. India is no longer an ‘also ran’ in world events. Indian athletes and sportspersons are today among the world’s best, whether it is athletics, archery, shooting, wrestling, boxing, badminton and tennis to name a few disciplines. Be it Neeraj Chopra's monumental victories, the resurgence of Indian hockey or young talents like Praggnanandhaa taking the world of chess by storm, these remarkable successes, fueled by dedicated athletes, signify the changing landscape of sports in our country. 

Under Prime Minister Modi’s vision of ‘Khelo India’ and ‘Fit India’ and ‘Ab ki Baar, 100 paar’, our sportspersons crossed a remarkable milestone in crossing 100 medals in the Asian Games this year. And this is just the beginning.

They demonstrate that the pursuit of a sporting career can yield not just personal glory but also national pride. 

Dear Students,

The success of our athletes, tells us that you can dream big and achieve those dreams. Your participation today is part of a new story that is shaping India's future in sports. Today sports in India is no longer just a passion or a hobby. It's a serious career option. 

Remember that each sprint, each jump, and each throw is a step towards your personal growth. 

Dear Athletes,

Another important point to remember is that Sports is not just about the game; it is about the friendships forged in the heat of competition, friendships that last a lifetime. 

Every rival you face, whether in victory or defeat, is a partner in your journey, teaching you valuable lessons that extend far beyond the field. Cherish these bonds, for they are the real treasures of your sporting journey. Whether you win or lose, every moment on the field is a testament to your dedication, your grit, and your passion. 

Sports is also the ultimate unifier. Everyone plays to the same rules, everyone plays to win, not just over others, but more importantly over oneself.

When you participate in sports, you're not just playing a game; you're contributing to a legacy of unity, a legacy that transcends boundaries and brings people together.

For new India, the correct way of describing Studies and Sports is therefore:

Padhoge Likhoge to banoge nawab, Kheloge Koodoge to banoge Laajawab!’

Here’s wishing you to soar higher, stronger and faster!

Jai Hind!