Mumbai/Bhubaneawar, February 27: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday received the ‘Best State for Promotion of Sports’ Award at the Sportstar Aces 2023 in Mumbai.
Chief Minister Patnaik received this award from Suresh Nambath, Editor, The Hindu and legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar at a ceremony hosted by The Hindu Group in Mumbai.
“Odisha won this prestigious award for the fourth time. 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,” said a CMO communique.
The awards jury comprised an eminent panel of champions, with former Indian Captain Sunil Gavaskar at the helm. Other members include, Abhinav Bindra, Aparna Popat, Anjali Bhagwat, Bhaichung Bhutia, MM Somaya and Viswanathan Anand.
Thanking The Hindu group – Sportstar for awarding Odisha as the best state in sports promotion, Chief Minister dedicated this award to the people of Odisha.
“This event serves as a wonderful platform to celebrate their (athletes) contributions to the world of sports and to inspire future generations to pursue their passions. Athletes are the true ambassadors of our country, and it is our duty to support and encourage them in every way possible,” said Patnaik.
“We are making huge investment in sports, which is investment in youth and therefore investment in our future. We have increased our budget for sports by more than 10 times in last five years. In the coming year, our sports budget is more than Rs 1200 crore,” said Patnaik.
The State has successfully hosted many global events including the recent Hockey World Cup. We are building world class facilities and nurturing talent through high performance centres and competitions.
“I invite you to be and be part of Odisha’s sporting journey and together we can bring glory to Indian sports. It’s the collective dream of all Indian to see the national flag fly high at the Olympics. We should all work together and make it a reality,” added Patnaik.
In 2022, athletes from the State brought laurels by winning medals in international and national competitions. Furthermore, the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 held in Bhubaneswar – Rourkela has garnered attention and admiration for the state of Odisha in the sports fraternity. 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 SportStar Aces Awards recognise excellence in sports in India.