There was a time when in our country not much importance was attached to athletics as such. A pioneer in this direction, so far as Bengal is concerned- was Nabogopal Mitra who organised the Swadeshi Mela. He has his gymnasium close to what now is the Vidyasagr College in Kolkata.
Since, then we have traveled a long way and physical culture has now come to be looked upon as an essential part of education. Athletics, therefore, are organised by every educational institution and by some clubs. Today our youngmen compete with the world in regard to physical fitness and perfection. Manohar Aich was the best physique champion. One of our youngmen became “Mr. Universe”.
Athletics improve health and general physical well-being. The athlete will generally be found to be more alert and prompt in the performance of his duties. He is always physically fit. But brawn and muscle do not make the whole of a man; brains are also necessary. If all work and no play make Jack a dull boy, all play and no work will make him even duller.
After all, athletics are only means to an end. He who makes it his only object in life to develop his body in a particular direction does himself the greatest wrong. Virtue lies in moderation and laying proportionate stress.
The salutary principle to remember is:-
Health is the vital principle of life
And exercise is health