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2500 CR For Sports Infra

Bhubaneswar: One of the hallmarks of Odisha’s sporting landscape is its exceptional sports infrastructure. The State Government has been investing about Rs 2500 crore in the creation of sports infrastructure in the State, Minister Sports and Youth Services Tushar Kanti Behera said. Sports & Youth Services, Secretary R Vinnel Krishna was present in Media Meet.

The Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, Rourkela, the world’s largest seated hockey stadium, has earned a prestigious place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The facility, which also houses an Olympic-style Hockey Village with 225 rooms, was built in just 15 months. This stadium stands as a symbol of Odisha’s unwavering dedication to the sport of hockey, offering state-of-the-art facilities and an impressive grandeur, he said.

In addition, he said, Odisha houses other sporting venues such as the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Rourkela, the Kalinga Stadium Tennis Center, Dharanidhar Sports Complex in Keonjhar amongst others, providing athletes with top-tier facilities to train and excel in their respective disciplines.

Recognizing the significance of grassroots development, the Odisha government has taken proactive measures to nurture young talent and establish a strong foundation for sports in the region, Shri Krishna said.

As part of this initiative, 17 astro-turf hockey fields have been set up across the Sundargarh district, known as the cradle of hockey in Odisha. This strategic move aims to identify and nurture promising talent, ensuring the sustained growth and success of the sport.

Moreover, the state is establishing 90 multipurpose indoor stadiums in urban areas. Six FIFA standard pitches have also been developed.

Over the last four years the sports budget has raised to Rs 1217 crore reflecting the commitment of Odisha and its Chief Minister towards sports development and promotion, the Secretary said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the progress on the manifesto commitments and achievements of the Sports & Youth Services Department over the last four years.

Sports & Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera presented a detailed development report and other transformative initiatives undertaken by the Department for achieving the targets. 

Sports & youth Services Minister apprised Chief Minister that Odisha has rapidly emerged as a favoured destination for sports owing to its exceptional infrastructure, facilities and successful organization of numerous global sporting competitions. Under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik the state is actively promoting and nurturing a wide range of sports, propelling its journey as a flourishing sports hub, he said.

The State has established itself as a global hub of hockey, having successfully organized consecutive editions of the FIH Hockey World Cup in 2018 and 2023.

Furthermore, Odisha has been the venue for prominent hockey events like the FIH Hockey Junior Men’s World Cup, Pro League, FIH Olympic Qualifiers, and FIH Series Finals, solidifying its position as a global destination for hockey. Kalinga Hockey Stadium and Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium are the top hockey stadiums in the world, Behera said.

Odisha has also made remarkable strides in hosting noteworthy international events in other sports. In football, the state successfully organized the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup and the SAFF U20 Championship, providing talented young footballers from around the world with a platform to showcase their skills. Odisha Open, Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships and a plethora of national events across sports have redefined Odisha as a Sports Hub in India, he said.

Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar serves as the home ground for Odisha FC, the reigning Super Cup Champions. Odisha Juggernauts the State’s franchise in the Ultimate Kho Kho League.

It has set a precedent by launching High Performance Centers in various sports disciplines with corporates and eminent sportspersons, in a unique partnership model that has been lauded widely. It not only extended its support to Hockey India by another ten years it is also supporting National Federations in Football, Rugby, Kho Kho and Swimming.

Throwing light on the sports development in the state, Minister Shri Behera said, “Odisha has come a long way in sports and is fully committed to fostering a vibrant sports culture. With the support and guidance of the Chief Minister and through unique initiatives, Odisha aims to encourage talent, inspire future generations, and position itself as a leading sports destination in India.”