Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday 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 received Rs 2 lakh cash award each. 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.
Biju Patnaik Sports Award for excellence in coaching went to Satya Ranjan Patnaik. He received cash award of Rs 1 lakh.
Besides, Siba Prasad Das received a cash award of Rs 32.50 lakh for coaching 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, the Chief Minister congratulated the award winners and spoke about the initiatives of the state for making Odisha a global centre of sports.
“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. 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,” said the Chief Minister.
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, added Patnaik.
Sport is the symbol of youth power. It demonstrates energy, power, dynamism, team spirit and above all, an irrepressible desire for winning. A society that loves sport develops great potential for success in every other field, Patnaik further 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, said the Chief Minister.
“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 said.
Speaking on the occasion, Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera said that the objective of the state is to become the best in sports and games.
Vishal Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Sports gave the welcome address. Director Sports R Vineel Krishna offered the vote of thanks. Chief Secretary, Development Commissioner, Secretary to CM (5-T) were present among others.