First of its kind Sports Diet Scholarship launched for North East youths 

Guwahati: With a view to ensuring a proper diet for young sportspersons from the Northeast, the first-of-its-kind ‘8 AM Sports Diet Scholarship’ was launched recently at the state banquet hall in Arunachal Pradesh’s Itanagar.

The scholarship was awarded to 50 selected budding sporting champions from the Northeast. 

The scholarship comprises a nutritious breakfast diet hamper from this Olympics to the next Olympics and a one-time monetary scholarship of Rs 10,001.

Taba Tedir, State Education minister and president of the Arunachal Olympic Association, attended the event as the chief guest.

These precocious talents are pursuing sports as their career, and are national and state-level medal winners below 20 years of age from different sports categories recognized by the Indian Olympic Association. They are the bonafide residents of northeastern states too.

Buoyed by the glory that Indian athletes brought to the nation in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, the idea of a Sports Diet Scholarship was conceived by Major Vishal Bakshi (VSM), Managing Director of V.R Industries. 

V.R Industries has been serving the Armed Forces for the last three decades by offering its wide range of breakfast cereals, which include cornflakes, muesli, instant porridge, oats, and trail mix. The brand works closely with an NGO ‘Helping Hands’ for promoting budding sports champions from the eight northeastern states. 

The project took wings when Major Bakshi got in touch with the first IPS officer from Arunachal Pradesh, Robin Hibu, president of Helping Hands, who extended him all possible support in giving shape to this ambitious plan.

According to Maj. Vishal Bakshi (VSM), “Launch of the ‘Sports Diet Scholarship’ marks a new era for sports in India. There is no dearth of sporting talent in the country, but ironically, the reason why we still trail in mega sporting carnivals like the Olympics is that we do not promote a healthy balanced diet to match up to the standards of the international athletes.”

Maj Bakshi further adds, “While talent can be God-gifted, the same cannot be said for fitness as one needs to toil hard for maintaining a fit and fine body. Besides following specific fitness regimes in the daily lifestyle, it is imperative to augment it with a healthy and balanced diet for ensuring a fit and healthy body.”

Lauding the efforts of Helping Hands and the sponsors, Minister Tedir said, “The state of Arunachal Pradesh has humongous sports potential. The small 17-member state team created a record of sorts in the recently concluded 36th National Games in Ahmedabad, Gujarat when the contingent won seven medals. The need for nutritious foodstuffs for players to play well would be solved by this much-needed scholarship.

He said initiatives such as the ‘Sports Diet Scholarship’ would play a vital role in transforming Arunachal into a sports house of India. “Our aim should be to make Arunachal Pradesh the National Sports Hub of the country,” he added.  

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