Sports minister Tusharkanti Behera highlights role of innovation in reviving sports ecosystem

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera on Tuesday laid emphasis on the significant role that innovation, collaboration and technology can play in reviving the sports ecosystem during a videoconference with Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, and sports ministers and senior officials of other states and union territories.

He shared the initiatives that Odisha government had undertaken to resume sports in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible way forward for its authorities and stakeholders to adopt.

“Today, owing to the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, sports fraternities across the nation are in a constant dilemma regarding the uncertain future,” Behera said in statement.

“However, the recent relaxation by the central government and guidelines laid down by the Sports Authority of India has brought in some positivity for all stakeholders. The sports sector has to treat this as an opportunity to innovate, to rethink policies and to reassess priorities.

“Best practices from across the world are being considered to chart a course ahead,” he added.

Behera also spoke about the initiatives adopted by the state to facilitate a partial but safe resumption of sporting activities. He also gave an insight into the detailed SOP as per the guidelines of the central government across their sports facilities.

With athletes resuming training at the Kalinga Stadium, Behera explained how they are accomodating the them inside the complex in a phased manner.

With the state also set to host big-ticket events like FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in February-March 2021, he also spoke about the need of working closely with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the tournament and implement strictest of safety norms.

“The way ahead is unclear and it is going to be the administrators, policy makers, sports federations and other stakeholders who have to deliberate, step up and take a lead to usher in a new era in Sports,” Behera said.

(inputs from IANS)

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