Coronavirus Outbreak: Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang says 'mental fitness' important during during lockdown

The London Games bronze medal winner spoke on a range of issues while participating in a discussion titled 'Fitness! A Way of life' along with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju

Press Trust of India May 29, 2020 19:55:19 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang says 'mental fitness' important during during lockdown

Having achieved success in a sport which, in his words, is 98 percent mental, Olympic bronze-medallist shooter Gagan Narang on Friday emphasised on the need for a calm and composed mind to face the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Olympic bronze-winning Indian shooter Gagan Narang. Reuters

The London Games bronze medal winner spoke on a range of issues while participating in a discussion titled 'Fitness! A Way of life' along with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

"Shooting is 98 percent mental, 2 percent physical. In this current lockdown scenario, the role of being mentally fit is very important. If you aren't mentally fit to make decisions it reflects poorly," Narang said.

One of India's finest rifle shooters, the 37-year-old added, "Physical and mental fitness complement each other. If you aren't mentally fit, you don't get the thought."

His sport has become tougher over the years, Narang said. "Shooting is a tough sport to play, and it takes a lot of physical and mental fitness to play it.

"Demand of shooting is such nowadays with the kind of competition there is, that you can't compete at the highest level without being physically fit."

Rijiju spoke about his ambition to see India become a country with a sporting culture, one where the youngsters are not spending their time on electronic gadgets.

"We have a tradition of sports in our country but have unfortunately not become a big sporting nation because sports has not become a culture. We need to draw inspiration from the past.

"Once we have a sports culture, we can create excellence. We need to move children away from electronic gadgets. We need to have an active culture. Natural growth of human beings should be allowed to take place at own pace," Rijiju said.

The minister added that more than 1.6 lakh schools have registered under the Fit India Movement. The webinar was organised by Fit India and Institute of Company Secretaries in India.

Narang who started shooting at the age of 14, had earlier dabbled in cricket, tennis and football and said he zeroed in on shooting because it challenged his mental abilities.

Lockdown has given us self-realisation. What we used to think is valuable, is not valuable anymore. Eating right and at the right time is very important. Because of the lockdown, people are taking care of their health.

"The lockdown has been a boon for some. We must take the lessons of this lockdown. Take care of our mind, body, families and become a positive human being," Narang said.

The Minister and the shooter also spoke about the upcoming Yoga day and called it not only a great form of fitness exercise but something that has considerably improved India's image on the world stage.

"After Buddhism, yoga is the biggest soft power that has gone out of India. I am very happy about the way yoga has transformed the image of India," Rijiju said.

"Major cities of the world, smaller towns and villages are doing yoga. It is one of the best ways of remaining fit."

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