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Odisha Gets Khelo Center

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju virtually inaugurated Khelo India State Center of Excellence (KISCE) of Odisha along with seven other State Centers.

The 8 States include Odisha, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Kerala, Telangana, Nagaland, Karnataka .Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and Odisha Minister, Sports & Youth Services, Tusarkanti Behera  jointly unveiled the virtual foundation stone at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

The KISCE has total area of 66 acres and the KISCE will focus on three disciplines: Hockey, Weightlifting and Athletics.

Vishal Kumar Dev, Secretary Sports and Youth Services, R Vineel Krishna, Director, Sports & Youth Services were also present from Odisha during the event along with International Athletics Player Purnima Hembrum joined the Inauguration Ceremony.

“This is a very important day for sports in India and it is a very important beginning to develop sports culture and excellence in the country. The youth in India is looking for initiatives from the Government of India and the State Governments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has said sports has to be a way of life for every Indian and the Govt of India wants to create basic facilities for everyone. The Khelo India State Centres of Excellence are being started in addition to the National Centres of Excellence,” Mr.Rijiju said.

The Union Minister reiterated the vision is to see India in top 10 in the Los Angeles Olympics 2028. “The Central and State govt has to work together and we will provide all necessary financial assistance so they develop with proper infrastructure and manpower, sports science, high quality training and so on. We cannot be satisfied with only 1-2 medals, we have to be in top 10 in 2028 Olympics,” Shri Rijiju added.

Vishal K Dev, Secretary Sports mentioned that the State will continue supporting the vision of the Government of India to develop sports.

“I am deeply humbled by the honour given to us by the Government of India to make the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar a Khelo India State Centre of Excellence. We also forward our gratitude to Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik. We will continue to seek your guidance and make the Kalinga Stadium a top class infrastructure. I’m also hopeful our young athletes and coaches will benefit from these hi-tech and high performance facilities. The benefits will trickle down to the grassroots and this will ultimately fire imagination of various sportspersons,” Mr.Dev said.

With a vision to make India one of the top 10 countries in 2028 Olympics, the Khelo India State Centers of Excellence will ensure that athletes proficient in a certain sport can be given the world-class specialized training and these centers become the best facilities in the country to train athletes in the priority sport for which they have been earmarked.

The support to the centers will be in the form of infrastructure up-gradation, setting up of sports science centers and also soft component in the form of quality coaches and sports science human resources like physiotherapists, strength & conditioning experts and so on.

The Centers will also have High Performance Manager to ensure quality of sports science input and performance management.

The setting up of the KISCE will also help to broad-base talent identification, since the states and UTs will also identify and develop talent in each sport for which funding is received.