Biju Patnaik Sports Awards presented to Odisha sportspersons

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday presented Biju Patnaik Sports Award to outstanding sportspersons and coaches of the state on the occasion of National Sports Day, through video conferencing.

Para athlete Jayanti Behera and ace hockey player Deep Grace Ekka received Biju Patnaik Sports Award for outstanding performance in sports and games. Both of them received Rs.2 lakh cash award each.

Biju Patnaik sports Award for Excellence in Coaching has been conferred to well known Chess coach of the state Satya Ranjan Patnaik. He received a cash award of rupees one lakh.

Brave-heart sisters Purnima and Sabita Giri – received the Biju Patnaik Bravery Award for displaying exemplary courage for saving 12 people from drowning when the boat carrying them capsized in Nipania river in Kendrapara district lat year. They received cash award of Rs 1 lakh each, medal and citation.

A total of 435 sportspersons including 51 para-athletes have been awarded cash awards amounting to Rs 1.61 crore, officials said.

Siba Prasad Das, coach of para shuttler Pramod Bhagat, was awarded Rs 32.50 lakh. Among others, Padmini Rout, Hupi Majhi, Rajashree Mohapatra, Manisha Merel, Pratyasha Ray also received cash awards.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “Today we are celebrating National Sports Day on the birth anniversary of Indian Hockey legend Dhyan Chand. I pay my sincere tributes to the wizard of Indian hockey on this occasion.”

“My greetings to all the Sports persons and sports lovers across the State on this great occasion. I congratulate all the award winners on this occasion. They have displayed excellent talent and hard work and brought laurels to the State and country. The passion, drive and determination of these sportspersons are commendable and I wish them more glory in the times ahead,” he added.

“I congratulate the two young girls of Kendrapada who have received the Bravery Award for showing such exceptional courage and saving many lives. They are indeed a shining example of selfless service and an inspiration for the youth,” said the Chief Minister.

“We are now in the process of realising his dreams of making Odisha a buzzing centre of sports. Odisha has become a major centre of sports activities in the last few years. Today, Odisha is known globally as a hub of hockey and we are going to host yet another edition of Hockey World Cup in 2023,” he added.

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