Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Friday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation to set up a world-class Badminton Academy in the state.
P Gopichand and Sports Secretary Vishal Dev signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat. The Foundation will provide technical support for the overall development of badminton in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “The State aspires to win Olympic medals in sports and there is no better than Pullela Gopichand to help Odisha realizing this dream. He has trained several national and international badminton players who have brought laurels to the country.”
“The world-class badminton training facility will help groom world-class champions from the state. The state government will provide all possible support to Gopichand and his foundation,” the CM said.
Recalling the success of Asian Athletics Championships, Patnaik said, “It was organized in a period of 90 days where 42 countries and more than 1000 sportspersons had participated. The event demonstrated the leadership ability of the state and emergence of Bhubaneswar as the Sports Capital of India.”
P Gopichand said he is immensely pleased to see the kind of support the state government is providing to sports. “The success of Asian Athletics Championships, sponsorship of Indian Hockey Team and establishment of high-performance training centres clearly underlines that Odisha is a great state and has a visionary government. The government is making all efforts to bring Odisha in the global sporting map,” he said.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister released Asian Athletics Championship Coffee Table Book titled “Challenge to Opportunity”.
Ministers Pradeep Maharathy, Prafulla Samal, Pratap Jena, Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Ashok Panda and Chandra Sarathi Behera were present on the occasion. Besides, development commissioner, principal secretary of sports department and principal secretary and secretaries of other departments and senior officers of sports department were also present.