The Sports Authority of India regional center in Mumbai organised an online interaction with Table Tennis player Madhurika Patkar on Monday. The paddler, who won the Arjuna Awards in 2020, at the virtual National Sports Awards last month, spoke on the importance of the ongoing Fit India Freedom Run.

Organised by the Sports Ministry, it is the largest country-wide Run that was launched on August 14 by the Union Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The run, to go on till October 2, has been lapped up by sportspersons and non-sportspersons from all spheres and seen major reception.

“This is a step towards making our country fitter. We all can participate to make India a fit country. We all have been confined to our home during the lockdown but now that we can step out gradually, it’s a great time to get connected with running. It is a basic exercise. I thank the Sports Ministry, and especially our Hon’ble Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for starting the Fit India Freedom Run during this period. I want to appeal to everyone to participate in the Fit India Freedom Run,” Madhurika said.

The 33-year-old also added that running in a group brings great benefits. “When I go outdoors for runs, I feel attuned to nature and it is a very enriching experience for me. First, we need to begin with ourselves and then we can inspire others to get involved. We have to invite our friends even if they are reluctant. Once one starts running, they will start loving it. When we have a group, the exercise feels more enjoyable,” she added.