Bhubaneswar: Members of State Assembly led by Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha on Wednesday visited the sports infrastructure and high performance centres within the Kalinga Sports Complex.
The MLAs later enjoyed the much-awaited tackle between India against Bangladesh at the SAFF-U20 championship ongoing in the stadium.
Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera and Secretary R.Vineel Krishna, welcomed the members to the sports complex.
Mr.Krishna, Sports Secretary presented the journey of sports in Odisha over the last decade that has established Kalinga Stadium and Odisha as significant sports hub for marquee events.
“It gives us immense pleasure to have the Speaker and members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly amongst us here at the Kalinga Stadium. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his vision, sports for youth, youth for future’, sports has been accorded priority status and this has propelled Odisha to be a front runner for the top sporting destination in India,” said Mr.Behera.
The Sports and Youth Services department has been investing in upgrading and developing sports infrastructure, training and coaching and creating opportunities from block to state level so sports flourishes in the state and we have larger representation from Odisha at the national and international level, he said.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra emphasised on the importance of giving adequate training, coaching, infrastructure, sports science and nutrition to athletes so they can train and transition to high performance centres and excel at national and international platforms.
Within a short span, athletes from Odisha have been making their mark in swimming, athletics and hockey and in coming years Odisha will produce many players, said Mr.Mahapatra.
Secretary (5T), V.K. Pandian, highlighted Chief Minister’s vision to promote sports and to extend all necessary support for sports and take Odisha to the next level in this field.
Odisha is hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup for the second time and this is a matter of great pride for Odisha. Additionally, it is going to be held at two venues which is rare but Odisha is committed to making this upcoming world cup a big success.
The delegation visited the major upcoming projects including the indoor athletics stadium, indoor aquatic centre, badminton high performance centre, hockey high performance centre, tennis court, and staff accommodation which are part of the Kalinga expansion and have been taken up under 5T initiative of state government.
They also visited the existing hockey stadium and HPC, sports climbing HPC, Abhinav Bindra targeting performance centre, shooting HPC, swimming HPC and weightlifting HPC.
The delegation of MLAs was impressed with the infrastructure and facilities within the Kalinga Sports Complex and expressed their delight.
It was also encouraging for the U-20 Indian Arrows, which the state supports, to see peoples’ representatives cheer for them from the galleries in their first game of the tournament.
On behalf of the state government and the Sports department, Development Commissioner Pradeep Jena thanked the Members for making time for the visit and being a part of Odisha’s sports journey through the years.
These mega sports projects in athletics, swimming, badminton, hockey and tennis will propel Odisha to be hub of medal contenders for India. The sports ecosystem from block to state has been planned very well and Odisha athletes will benefit immensely from this.