Sportstar Aces 2023: Odisha CM Receives ‘Best State for Promotion of Sports’ Award

Thanking the Hindu Group and Sportstar for the award, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the award to the people of Odisha.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has been awarded as the Best State for Promotion of Sports at the ‘Sportstar Aces-2023 Awards’ program organised in Mumbai today. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik received the award and dedicated it to the people of Odisha.

The award is given by the famous sports magazine Sports Star. This is the fourth time that Odisha has received this prestigious award. The recognition comes as a result of the state’s unique sports model, which is built around the pillars of partnership for sporting excellence, competition, coaching, infrastructure and welfare schemes for meritorious athletes.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik received the award from former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar in presence of Suresh Nambath, Editor of The Hindu at a function organised by Hindu Group in Mumbai today.

The jury for this award was headed by former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar and included prominent sportspersons Abhinav Bindra, Aparna Popat, Anjali Bhagwat, Baichung Bhutia, MM Soumya and Viswanathan Anand.

Thanking the Hindu Group and Sportstar for the award, the Chief Minister dedicated the award to the people of Odisha.

The Chief Minister appreciated the Sports Star Authority for its outstanding work in honouring sportspersons. He said that this program is a good platform to recognize the contribution of sportspersons in the field of world sports. It will also encourage our talented sportspersons of the future. Sportspersons are our true ambassadors. The Chief Minister said that it is our responsibility to provide support to them and encourage them in all fields.

The Chief Minister also said that we are investing huge resources in the field of sports. Because investing resources in youth means investing resources in our future. Our sports budget has increased 10 times in the last 5 years. It is more than 1200 crores in the next financial year. We have successfully organized many international tournaments including the Hockey World Cup. We are making efforts to develop the talent of the players by building reliable infrastructural facilities for the players as well as various High Performance Centers and competitions. “I appeal to you all to join Odisha’s journey in the field of sports and we all together can achieve glory for Indian sports with integrity,” he said.

In 2022 Odisha’s sportspersons brought glory by winning medals in national and international sports competitions. Along with this, due to the successful hosting of the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup-2023 held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, Odisha has become the center of attraction and earned recongnition in international sports.

In 2022, Odisha hosted international competitions such as Odisha Open, SAAF U20 Championship, FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, FIBA 2022 (SABA Qualifiers), FIH Hockey Pro League, and National competitions such as Indian Women’s League, Aquatic Junior Nationals, IWLF Youth Juniors and Senior National Weightlifting Championship 2022, Para Athletics Championship and Para Badminton Nationals to name a few.

The State government is also prioritizing the development of sports infrastructure in the state. It is committed to creating state-of-the-art facilities that can serve as a training ground for budding athletes. The iconic Kalinga Sports Complex is one of the finest sports facilities in the country.

Several mega sports projects within its premises including India’s first Indoor Athletics Centre, Tennis Court, Indoor Aquatics Centre, Hockey High Performance Centre and an elaborate Sports Science Centre are near completion and will play a significant role in developing champions of tomorrow for the country.

In Rourkela, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium was recently inducted into the Guinness book of world records as the largest fully-seated hockey stadium of the world. Despite an abundance of pandemic induced challenges, the facility which also houses an Olympic-style Hockey Village with 225 rooms was built in merely 15 months.

Similarly, to promote sports and fitness in the society, Odisha is developing 90 multi-purpose indoor halls across all urban areas. These are complemented with a wide range of other sports infrastructure including swimming pool training centres, football training centres, hockey training centres and sports complexes.

The SportStar Aces Awards recognize excellence in sports in India and are highly prestigious. Odisha’s Best State for the Promotion of Sport honour is a testament to the state’s commitment to promoting sports and providing athletes with the necessary resources to succeed.

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