75-year-old Baldev Singh, an inspiration for all in Punjab

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Ferozepur, Sep.27 : Baldev Singh Jhakar of Village Killianwale in district Ferozepur is an inspiration for all those who want to peruse sports irrespective of age. At 75, he is going strong with every passing day.

The veteran hammer thrower Baldev Singh Jhakar wants India to represent India in international meets. His devotion to sports has made him a source of inspiration for the youth.

Baldev begins the day in the playground with exercises. For Baldev Singh the mantra of life has been to keep fit and carry on his sporting spirit till the last day of his life.

Baldev's dedication has made him a national record holder in Hammer Throw. In a recently held National Veteran Athletic Meet in Mumbai, he threw the hammer to a distance of 23.94 metres.

His village Killianwale today takes pride in Baldev's achievements and his efforts to encourage the youth to take part in sports.

Baldev Singh says: "In school, I was very enthusiastic in playing football and Kabaddi. I had never seen anyone throwing hammer in my college. Once I spotted a hammer in the store and asked my sports trainer about it. He briefed me and it showed me how it was thrown. Since then I got interested in hammer throw and I got a lot of practice at hammer throwing during college days."

The collection of medals reflects Baldev's success story. As a veteran athlete, he participated in 15 national level contests, besides 17 Asian and International events held in India.

Since 1995, Baldev Singh holds the record of winning Gold in the state-level hammer throw championships.

Baldev's aim now is to participate in a contest in a foreign country.

Baldev says: "My wish is to participate in the world championships abroad. I don't know when will I get a chance. It's a costly affair to go abroad and participate. There is no help from the government side. It is difficult to go abroad on your own as it costs nearly rupees 1100 dollars to 2200 dollars. It's not possible for everyone to go abroad."

Baldev has inspired the villagers with his stay fit' mantra. His every day include physical exercises, yoga and playing sports.

Many inspired villagers also organize local contests to encourage greater participation of the youth in sports.

Bhup Singh, Baldev's friend, says: "Youngsters are inspired watching Baldev Singh throwing the hammer and, in turn, they themselves get motivated to take part in the sport. They say that if he can do all this at the age of 75 then why can't we do so? In our village there is a stadium where the children used to play. We also organize sports meets regularly and encourage students in schools to join sports activities."

Baldev Singh's dynamism clearly sends out a message that age is no bar to a strong body and a sharp mind. By Karan Kapoor

ANI

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