Sachin Tendulkar was invited to NDTV’s chat show The Huddle, where he spoke on a range of issues including the importance of sports and shared a tidbit of his meeting with tennis legend Roger Federer.
Sachin shared that when he met Roger Federer during Wimbledon, he said to him,”Please don’t retire. There’s a lot of tennis left in you.’ But that was for selfish reasons, so that we get the pleasure of watching some unbelievable shots.”
Talking about parents motivating their children for sports, Sachin spoke at length.
“Parents should give their children freedom and encourage them to play sport,” he said. “Not because we want to produce Olympic medallists but because we want to have a healthy and fit India. We love watching sport, but very few of us regularly engage in sporting activity. We don’t play. I want to make an effort to transform India from a sports-loving to a sports-playing nation.”
“I’m hoping the right to play becomes a reality and sports become a part of the curriculum. I feel the right to education and sport will complement each other well,” he continued.
Tendulkar also shed spotlight on India not taking care of its sporting heroes, saying, “We’ve failed to look after many heroes. The great hockey player Mohammad Shahid — the way his life ended was sad. When I read about Shamsher Khan, the swimmer who competed in the 1956 Olympics, and the financial constraints and health issues that he had, it was disheartening. Why should they suffer like this?”
Tendulkar's idea, was to “invest in, insure and immortalise” athletes. “We need to form an organisation which employs these retired athletes and keeps their minds engaged,” he said.
Tendulkar also said that the success of wrist spinner Chahal and Kuldeep had given India a big advantage going into next year’s World Cup.
Tendulkar concluded. “Parents ask their kids every day if they ate and studied,” he said. “It will be a big day for me when parents ask their children if they went to play or not.”