Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Leading sports magazine Sportstar on Sunday felicitated Odisha with the Decade’s Best State for Promotion of Sports for the period from 2011 to 2020.

Hockey stalwart M M Somaya handed over the award to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a special function organized at the convention hall of Loka Seva Bhawan glittered with eminent sports-persons of the country including veteran sportspersons Sunil Gavaskar, Baichung Bhutia, Viswanathan Anand and Aparna Popat.

"I dedicate this award to the 4.5 Crore people of Odisha, especially the youth," the Chief Minister said after receiving the award and called upon the youth of the State to shine in every field and move towards a new and empowered Odisha.

The Chief Minister further said that whether it’s disaster management or it’s Covid fightback, "..we have faced every challenge boldly, come out with flying colours, and have set new benchmarks."

Patnaik thanked the jury headed by Sunil Gavaskar for recognising Odisha's efforts in promoting sports. He further said that Sports has a major role in building a healthy and disciplined society.

"The youth have to be guided to productively utilize their energies and make them well-rounded personalities. With this vision, we have been pro-actively supporting sports across the State," he added.

Speaking about the success of Asian Athletics 2017 within just 90-day’ time period, he said that Odisha has now become famous for its flawless conduct of national and international sports events, even at a short notice.

Odisha is building the largest Hockey Stadium in the country in Rourkela for the Hockey World Cup in 2023. We are also building India’s first indoor athletics track. We will be probably the only State to plan for the indoor sports halls and fields across all the urban local bodies. The project is to be launched shortly and will be completed by next year, he announced.

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