Interview: Charity is a matter of personal passion, willingness and preference - Virat Kohli

Monday, 12 May 2014 - 2:28pm IST | Agency: dna
Bid for an auction and win the chance to hit the gym with the cricket star!

Lately Virat Kohli has been in the news for his linkup with Anushka Sharma and IPL than anything else. However, there is another side to him. Last year he set uo The Virat Kohli Foundationand now along with eBay India, and Mana Shetty's Save The Children India he is holding a live charity auction (from May 6-16) which will give the winning bidder a chance to enjoy a gym session with Virat. The cricketer will work out with the highest bidder and provide tips to stay fit. The proceeds from this charity auction will be used to educate the less privileged differently-abled children supported by Save The Children India.

This is the first time you are doing something like this..
I would give all the credit to my nephew for inspiring me to say yes. I am very close to him and having him in my life has made me more aware and mindful of certain issues such as children's health and education. So when I was presented with the opportunity to participate in this auction where I would be doing what I enjoy the most --- working out -- with the winner of the auction, I didn't want to say anything but yes! Also this is just one of the many initiatives, as the Virat Kohli Foundation is up and running now, so I hope to continue making more substantial contributions and undertake several meaningful projects in the future. The VKF was launched in 2013 to make long term valuable contributions to the society, by undertaking meaningful initiatives and projects.

What does the VKF do?
Along with initiating independent projects, we aim at working with select NGO's to create awareness, seek support and raise funds for the various causes they endorse and the philanthropic work they engage in.

Why did you pick this cause?
I can't emphasize enough on the role education plays in a child's development. I realize how lightly we take it, when we hail from financially stable and well to do families. Not only that, we take for granted that every child who goes to school has the same abilities as ourselves, which makes us completely ignorant to the struggles of children who are not as blessed as us in terms of physical and intellectual attributes. But when we look closely, beyond our own selves, we realize that education, more so good education is actually a luxury.

Please continue...
As a society I think we tend to have a very rigid approach to education, wherein ones academic performance is given paramount importance. Vocational training has very recently started getting impetus; however, education for the differently abled is a still a sector which needs a lot of attention. We need smart, good and compassionate course architects and teachers who would be able to aptly design and structure a friendly educational program for the differently abled kids which will foster their growth and development. I laud the work being done by Save the Children India in this regard. On another note, I wish sports were used more extensively as a tool for imparting education. We underestimate the power of sports.

How important is charity for a celebrity?
I think supporting a charity is a matter of personal passion, willingness and preference. As far as I am concerned, I feel it's very important, because it gives me an opportunity to make that little bit of positive impact in society of which I am an integral part. In the past, I have supported a few charities and charitable initiatives but I aim to streamline it now and that is the reason behind the commissioning of Virat Kohli Foundation.

Why a gym session with you and not a date?
Fitness is an integral component in any sportpersons life, and it's undoubtedly something I take very seriously. We often marvel at the fitness and endurance levels of professional footballers and other track and field athletes, but at times ignore the countless hours that they put in off the field, right from diet, to nutrition and recovery. I take my personal fitness as a challenge and keep raising the bar for myself every season. Most of my gym workouts are done during gaps between matches and series, where my primary focus is on weight and strength training. On a daily basis, my work out routine is focused on core exercises and cardio, which help in my concentration and reflexes.

Three tips on the best way to stay fit.
I'd say the best fitness tip to anyone is to firstly monitor your diet and be careful with that you eat. Maintaining a balanced diet is critical in ones daily routine, and finding that right mix between your fats, carbohydrates and protein. Secondly, I'm a firm believer in some form of outdoor sport of your choice, as apart from keeping you fit, its therapeutic as well. Finally, it's important to maintain a good body clock, as adequate sleep keeps the mind refreshed and relaxed. On tour I follow a similar routine of core workouts and cardio, as we tend to burn a lot of energy during games, so my workout regimes also aid in my rest and recovery. Our team has a nutritionist and trainer at all times, so I make sure I follow all my set programs.

On the cricket front, has it been a big challenge to deal with the level of expectations from cricket lovers? How do you cope with it?
Playing cricket for India is an honor and a privilege, and the love from our fans makes us who we are. I always put in 100% on and off the field and always aim at being focused and consistent with my performances and I guess that's what any cricket lover appreciates. The process and effort is more important than the end result, and if you are true to yourself in your preparation people will continue to support you.

* I think supporting a charity is a matter of personal passion, willingness and preference. As far as I am concerned, I feel it's very important, because it gives me an opportunity to make that little bit of positive impact in society of which I am an integral part.

* I'm a firm believer in some form of outdoor sport of your choice, as apart from keeping you fit, its therapeutic as well. Finally, it's important to maintain a good body clock, as adequate sleep keeps the mind refreshed and relaxed.




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