Dipa is an inspiration for every woman athlete in India: Sachin

'For me, sports wasn't a profession, but a passion'

By LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI in Mumbai
  • Published 19.07.17
  •  
Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai on Tuesday. (PTI)

Mumbai: Sachin ‘The Master’ Tendulkar has hailed 23-year-old Dipa Karmakar as an “inspiration” for all women athletes in the country, not just gymnasts.

“Of course, Dipa’s an inspiration for every woman athlete in India... She’s 110 per cent that... I met her in Rio last year, during the Olympics, and found her story fascinating,” Sachin told The Telegraph on Tuesday evening.

Dipa is from Tripura, which isn’t known for headline-making sportsmen and sportswomen, finished fourth in vault finals.

Sachin was speaking after a Sony Pictures Networks event at the Grand Hyatt. In fact, he’s now the brand ambassador for sports and will be promoting the Sony Pictures Sports Network, a bouquet of no less than 11 dedicated channels.

Sony’s presence has grown significantly since its acquisition of Ten Sports.

To mark Sachin’s coming on board, two channels were launched — Sony Ten 2HD and Sony Ten 3HD. As CEO NP Singh put it: “Entertainment, digital and sports” are the priority areas in terms of strategy.

A big driving force is, of course, Sony’s ‘Go-Beyond’ corporate philosophy.

During the event, Sachin emphasised that “new India needed to be more participative in sports and not watchers of sports.”

To drive that home, Sachin said: “A young but unhealthy population would be a recipe for disaster, so go out and play...

Dipa Karmakar

“Sports is such a powerful platform to change the country’s youth...

“For me, sports wasn’t a profession, but a passion. I remain passionate till this day, for sports has been my life.”

Recalling his playing days, Sachin mentioned that his attitude had been to “accept mistakes and learn from them.”

Also, that learning never stopped.

“My coach Ramakant Achrekar ‘Sir’ impressed upon us that one remained a student of his discipline. So, I kept learning right through my career and, even to this day, I remain a student,” Sachin pointed out.  

Sachin didn’t forget to mention elder brother Ajit’s role, too, in teaching him how to get better and analysing his game after every innings, including the very last one for India — against the West Indies, in the final Test of the 2013-2014 series.  

As it turned out, Sachin scored 74 in the only innings that India batted.

Postscript: Sachin quipped that fellow-icon Roger Federer, who “follows cricket,” plays like him when he is busy with video games. Sachin, for his part, plays like Federer when he actually devotes time to video games. “If there’s no net the court, I’m actually a good tennis player,” The Master signed off.