Members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, led by Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha, on Wednesday visited existing and upcoming sports facilities and high performance centers at Kalinga Sports Complex.
Lawmakers then enjoyed the long-awaited tackle between India and Bangladesh in the SAFF-U20 Championship taking place at the stadium.
Minister of Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera and Secretary R. Vineel Krishna welcomed the members to the sports complex.
The Sports Secretary presented the journey of sports in Odisha over the past decade which has made Kalinga Stadium and Odisha an important sports hub for marquee events.
“It is a great pleasure for us to have the Speaker and Members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly with us here at Kalinga Stadium. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his vision, Sport for youth, youth for the future, sport has been given priority status and this has propelled Odisha to the top tier of top sports destinations in India,” Behera said.
The Department of Sports and Youth Services has invested in the modernization and development of sports infrastructure, training and coaching and the creation of block opportunities at the state level so that the sport thrives in the state and that we have a greater representation of Odisha at the national and international levels, he said.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra stressed the importance of giving adequate training, coaching, infrastructure, sports science and nutrition to athletes so that they can train and progress to High Performance Centers (HPCs) ) and excel on national and international platforms.
In a short time Odisha athletes have made their mark in swimming, athletics and hockey and in the coming years Odisha will produce many players, Mahapatra said.
The Secretary (5T), VK Pandian, highlighted the Chief Minister’s vision to promote sports and extend all necessary support for sports and take Odisha to the next level in this field.