Every Club in India should Adopt a Sportsperson and make him/her a Champion – Cyclist Vishal Sharma
Many people get satisfaction by helping others who are in need. Some help others to gain publicity, but a few go out of their way to help others. True happiness comes when we help people in need. Here is a man who has left his family back in Jaipur and is on a cycling expedition to raise funds to promote sportspersons. He is none other than Vishal Sharma, a 48-year-old Cyclist from Jaipur who started his journey on December 2, to explore the country and support an NGO by raising funds to promote sportspersons.
Vishal Sharma reached Mangaluru, Taj Cycles on December 26 morning along with cyclist Akshay Rao from Udupi who hosted Vishal in Udupi.
Speaking to mangalorean.com, Vishal Sharma said, “I started my journey to explore my country and the motive of my journey has been changing day by day. I started this cycling expedition on December 2 and have already travelled seven states riding over 2500 km. My request to every club is to adopt a sportsperson and make him/her a champion.”
Vishal further said, “Cyclist Vivek Lokur from Pune is the first person who registered the Kashmir to Kanyakumari cycling expedition route which is recorded in the Guinness Book of world records. Vivek inspired me to take up this challenge. Vivek has also set the record for the longest distance walk in 24 hours for India Book of Records walking 113.56 km. Vivek also rode solo from Kashmir to Kanyakumari covering a total distance of 4000 km. Vishal, another sportsperson who won the Singapore marathon, is living in the slum area of Pune, and nobody is aware of him. Now Vivek and Vishal together have started an NGO to help the poor talented sportspersons. Both Vivek and Vishal requested me to join their NGO, and after joining their NGO, my motive has also changed.”
Vishal urged every club to adopt a sportsperson and make him/her a champion. If we contribute some of our extra expenses through clubs, we can create more sports champions. If you adopt a sportsperson and invest in his talent, you can create a champion. If you start a club and adopt a child who is good at sports, we can create more sportspersons. We have very bad politics in sports and poor people who are good at sports do not get due support. They don’t get any opportunity to take part in the state or the national level competitions.
When asked about sports being neglected by the government, Vishal said, “We need brand ambassadors, but no one is thinking of promoting talented sportspersons. I have received 400 applications from various sportspersons asking for financial support, but in 25 days, I have received only Rs 500. Nobody is showing interest in supporting cyclists. Then how is it possible for me to help those requesting financial support? If we don’t support athletes from the grass-root level, how can we create champions?”
Vishal requested the people to donate a little from their extra expenses to those who are good in sports to realize their dreams.
When asked about his expedition, Vishal said, “I started my cycling expedition on December 2 from Jaipur and have already crossed seven states – Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat, Daman, Goa and Karnataka. I will reach Kerala today and move towards Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bhutan and Nepal. I will travel all over the country and also to Bhutan and Nepal, and knock every door to raise funds to sponsor young sportspersons. I want to work with the NGOs that are working for the betterment of the sportspersons. The situation of sportspersons in our country is terrible. I aim to travel to three countries, including 21 states and three union territories in our country.
When asked why only cricket is being promoted in our country, Vishal said, “In 1983, Sunil Gavaskar was the number one cricketer in India, and he did not have any sponsors. But today everything has changed. Cricket gets all the support and funds from the government. Since last year, people above the age of 40 are showing interest in cycling. Since I began my ride from Jaipur, I see people staring at me! People are not interested to know the purpose of my ride! Only cricket is supported in our country. At present, cycling is thought of as a rich peoples’ sport because cyclists spend their own money to buy and maintain the bicycle.
“Until and unless cycling is promoted, it will remain as it is. The media should play a vital role to promote sports. Many athletes cannot afford to buy a good pair of shoes to take part in state-level competitions. My message is to adopt a sportsperson and make him a champion. Today or tomorrow, there will be growth, and sports can be taken up as a profession.”