New Delhi, Oct 30: Expressing happiness over the achievements of Indian sportspersons and teams this year, President Pratibha Patil today emphasised the need for appreciating the unique qualities of each sport in the country.
Felicitating the national hockey, football and Tweny20 cricket teams for winning the Asia Cup, the Nehru Cup and the World Championship respectively at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, Patil said that we must ensure that valiant sportsmanship does not go unappreciated, be it from any sport.
“It is also encouraging to note that our achievements in sports are multi-disciplinary and I hope that this will encourage us to promote all sports and not just a select few," she said.
Patil pointed out that the enthusiasm and participation of people is fundamental in the process of creating a culture of professional sports in the country.
“It is heartening to note what a successful year this has been for India in the field of sports! Our teams and sportspersons have delighted the nation with spectacular performances and victories that have made us all proud," she said.
She further said that India has a long tradition of sports and athletic activities, adding that “many indigenous games of our country are testament to the fact that we have always encouraged the friendly yet competitive spirit of sports."
Patil said that the importance of sports for a nation goes far beyond victories in the playing field, since the spirit of sportsmanship imbues several values, which are essential for a well-groomed citizen of the country.
“Loyalty, courage, perseverance, teamwork and dedication are but a few of the many qualities which one may learn from sports and these qualities not only enable them to become good sportspersons but also better human beings. It is this socially constructive aspect of sports which is of paramount importance to a nation and in the light of the recent victories of our players, we can be certain that India remains committed in its encouragement of sports," she added.
The members of victorious hockey and cricket teams were present on the occasion. The men's football team could not attend the function, as they were involved in a World Cup qualifier in Goa.
They were represented by the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.