Jagjit Singh Kathuria, 82, has proved again that age is just a number by clinching two silver medals at the Oceania Master Athletic Championship held in Australia earlier this month.
Inspired by 103-year-old veteran and multiple world record owner in athletics Mann Kaur- Mr Kathuria has been practising hard for the last few years keeping himself fit to compete in world level athletic championships.
Earlier in February this year, at the New Zealand Masters Games 2019 held in Whanganui, Mr Kathuria bagged two medals in his age category. He claimed gold in Triple Jump, and a silver medal in 3 KM Walk- fell a little short to the fourth position in 60 metres race.
Mr Kathuria’s energy is contagious, and he has been an advocate of fitness for the community and the youngsters encouraging senior citizens to rise and participate in different athletic games and competitions.
“I am a member of Indo Kiwi Association of NZ and have encouraged 65 members of the association to participate in different athletic games and events,” Mr Kathuria said in an interview with The Indian Weekender.
Although diabetic, Mr Kathuria has never allowed the disease and its symptoms from getting up every day and walking several kilometres, exercising and doing yoga to keep him fit.
“Yoga, walking and regular exercising are some of the key secrets to keep me going and become an athlete even at this age,” Mr Kathuria added.
An educator by profession before he retired serving as principal and headmaster of several private schools in Haryana and Punjab in India- Mr Kathuria also derived his inspiration from his students at school saying seeing them so fit made me jump onto the tracks and run.
“I was awarded the Best Athlete at Malwa Training College in 1958 and even when serving as principal of the schools- I made sure I was always up to the mark- fit and ready to work and run,” Mr Kathuria recollected.
Mr Kathuria came to New Zealand in 2008 and currently lives with his wife and daughter in South Auckland- he also received Senior Citizen of the Year Award in 2012 by an Asian-Indian magazine.
Flashing his silver medals from the Oceania Master Athletic Championship 2019 in Australia for Triple Jump and 3 KM Walk, Mr Kathuria is now aiming to compete at the New Zealand Master Games in 2020 and World Masters Games 2021 in Japan.
Mr Kathuria advises seniors and youngster to walk daily, run a little, exercise and do yoga to keep fit and follow a steady diet avoiding junk food.