Prime Minister Narendra Modi today exhorted girls in the country to take up sports. We must encourage our daughters and allow them to take up sports, the PM said this during the inauguration of eminent athlete PT Usha’s Usha School of Athletics via video conferencing. He also coined a new acronym of the word sport- S-Skill, P-perseverance, O-optimism, R-resilience, T-tenacity, S-stamina. PM Modi also lauded PT Usha saying the nation is proud of her and it was good that she continued her association with sports. PM Modi has time to time showed his liking for the sports. Earlier this year, PM Modi had said that FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be held in India for the first time later this year, should serve as a catalyst for lifting the profile of the game in the country.
“India is going to host the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017, but successful hosting of the event alone cannot be our final objective. FIFA U17 World Cup India 2017 must be a catalyst for change, the topping point for football in the country, which can only be done by creating a mass movement around it,” the Prime Minister had said in a statement posted at the official website of the All India Football Federation. PM Modi also said that the objective is to give an opportunity to every child in the country to play football.
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PM Modi had also spoken about an outreach programme in his Mann Ki Baat last year, calling it a mass movement.“Mission XI Million will take the beautiful game of football to at least 11 million boys and girls around the country. Children in every state, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kanyakumari will get a chance to learn, play and enjoy football. More than 15000 schools around the country will be partners in this,” he said. Calling every parent and teacher to encourage children, PM Modi added, “We need the support not just of children but also of every parent and every teacher to encourage boys and girls to play football and develop both skill and fitness. I am confident that these children will be able to take Indian football to its rightful place in the world.”