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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today presented Biju Patnaik Sports Award to outstanding sports persons and coaches on the occasion of National Sports Day celebrated through video conferencing.

Jayanti Behera and Deep Grace Ekka received Biju Patnaik Sports Award for outstanding performance in sports and games. Both of them were felicitated with cash award of Rs 2 lakh.

Jayanti, a silver medallist in the 400 metres in the Asia Para games in Indonesia 2018 and a participant in the World Para Athletic Championship 2019 at Dubai, is also the winner of 4 gold, four silver and 1 bronze medals in national and international championships.

Deep, is an ace player of Indian Women’s Hockey team and won gold medal in FIH Women’s Series 2019. She is now part of the Indian women’s squad for Tokyo Olympics.

Similarly, Biju Patnaik Bravery Award was received by Purnima Giri and Sabita Giri who received cash award of rupees one lakh each, medal and citation. The sister duo had saved the lives of 12 persons after a country boat had capsized in Mahanadi river near Nipania under Mahakalapada block in Kendrapara district on January 3, 2019.

Biju Patnaik Sports Award for excellence in coaching went to Satya Ranjan Patnaik.  He received cash award of rupees one lakh.

Besides Siba Prasad Das was awarded a cash prize of Rs 32, 50,000 for his coaching contributions to sports persons with disability. Among others, Padmini Rout, Hupi Majhi, Rajashree Mohapatra, Manisha Merel, Pratyasha Ray also received cash awards.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Naveen Patnaik said, “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.”

“The world is going through a great crisis due to the Covid pandemic. The importance of sports and fitness has once again been highlighted by this pandemic. We wish to further promote sports to enhance the physical and mental health of our citizens in the State. More than the medals, sports and fitness activities should become a way of life in our society," Patnaik addressed during the virtual event.

Speaking on the occasion, Sports & YS Minister Tusharkanti Behera said, “The objective of the State is to become the best in sports and games. Therefore, we are encouraging young talents of the state into sports and games.”

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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