Jay Zaveri on National Sports Day: Everyone should play one physical sport… when you do so, you don’t need to go to the gym
August 29 is observed as National Sports Day every year. The day celebrated on the birth anniversary of hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand honours athletes of different sporting activities. Apnapan actor Jay Zaveri talks about the day, the sports he used to play during his growing-up years and the sports he indulges in now. He also shares his opinion on what needs to be done to promote sports in India and why apart from gymming, actors too should play some sport for all-around health.
“During my school days, I used to play football. I remember waking up at 4 or 5 every morning and heading out for my football practice and then went to school. I have represented my school in under-16 at the State level. Besides football, I used to play badminton and cricket. Not professionally but with friends, I used to play both these games,” he says.
Nowadays, however, it’s very difficult to find time for anything else. “But whenever I get time I play turf cricket, or head to the club and play badminton or squash. In fact, I want to start playing football again as well, because I believe that when you play any physical sport, you don’t need to go to the gym. That’s what I feel, once you start playing a physical sport, and I would advise it to all actors, everyone for that matter. A sportsman’s body is more athletic and agile, has a higher endurance level, good stamina and you will feel energized throughout the day,” he adds.
Citing Akshay Kumar’s example, Jay shares why he is a fan of the actor’s talent and fitness.
“One can achieve that type of body even by playing physical sports regularly. I know it’s difficult being an actor balancing professional life and playing a physical sport, but, whenever you get time, you should just go out and play,” he shares.
As far as promoting sports in India, the actor feels that the government should recognize sports as an industry. “Look at the type of competitions happening right now. There is IPL for cricket, then there is hockey, India League, Indian Super League, and so on that keep on happening. So, if sports is recognized as an industry, there will be new players, and new people getting involved in sports and thereby generating employment and revenue. We will also have more star players representing India at the international level. I feel sad that the Indian football team is nowhere compared to the international teams, the Indian basketball team has nowhere… and the only team which is succeeding is the Indian cricket team. We are the second biggest population in the world, and we can’t have the best players for a particular sport. I feel the government should do something about that and make more investments in sports infrastructure and professional training. There’s a long way to go. Cricket is important, but there are so many other sports where we need to excel as well,” he ends.