The former cricketer spoke about the importance of health and fitness during the launch.

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Mumbai's DY Patil was the place to be for an avid sports fan this Tuesday, January 28, afternoon, as it was graced by some of cricket's finest ambassadors. Visiting the iconic stadium were none other than former England captain Mike Gatting and legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, launching the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy (TMGA).

The Tendulkar Middlesex Academy is a joint endeavour of the Sachin Tendulkar group and the Middlesex County Cricket Club, established in Mumbai DY Patil Sports Academy with an eye on nurturing the next sporting talents of the country. It has brilliant facilities for cricket, tennis, badminton, swimming and many other sports, and is spearheaded by the likes of former Indian cricketer Vinod Kambli and many more established coaches. 

“This game has given me everything. Whatever I am today is because of cricket, so launching this academy is an opportunity for me to give something back to the sport,” said Sachin Tendulkar in the press conference launch of TMGA. 

“Sport taught me to always get back on my feet and not take shortcuts, and that is the message I’d like to carry forward here. There will be tough challenges along the way but we all have to learn, and we have to learn the right values,” he added. 

Former England captain Mike Gatting echoed similar thoughts while addressing the media, seeing this academy as a potential launchpad for many more sporting greats. “I have been very fortunate to see so many wonderful cricketers from India grow in their career and that’s why something like this wonderful place here (DY Patil Stadium) is going to be so important to give lots of other children a chance to learn the thoughts and processes of some great cricketers,” said Gatting.

The academy aims to improve young children in all sporting aspects, focusing on a variety of sports rather than sticking only to cricket. Sachin Tendulkar stressed the importance of having a complete sporting development at the press conference, encouraging more young children and young adults to take up some sport or the other. 

“We all love enjoying and watching others play, but we ourselves don’t play much. I think we just need to push ourselves to play some sport, and to transform India from a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation,” said Tendulkar.

“We could also be healthy doctors or healthy engineers, it is all about keeping good health and leading a new lifestyle. I think a lifestyle change has to take place. We are the diabetic capital of the world and when it comes to obesity also we are almost at the top. So we should change those things and those changes will only happen if we act today,” concluded Tendulkar. 

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Niklas Helle’n