Bhubaneswar: Odisha has been awarded as “Top State” for promoting sports in the recently-concluded India Sports Summit.
Sports and Youth Services Secretary Vishal Dev received the award at the national meet held to promote Fit India Movement. On the occasion, Mr Dev said: “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is promoting sports in a big way with an aim to turn Odisha as a global sports hub. The State Government is extending all supports to make Bhubaneswar the sports capital of India.”
The Government has allocated Rs 266.31 crore for the Sports and Youth Services Department in the 2019-20 Annual Budget, he added.
The Sports Secretary further said that there is a huge scope and potential of ‘Fit India’ that can be leveraged if the focus is given on the 70 percent of people living in villages. There needs to be inculcation of the culture of sports through a number of initiatives in the rural areas, he said.
While Sundargarh district has produced many national and international standard hockey players, rural zones of Ganjam and Puri districts are known for weightlifting and wrestling, respectively. The Government has planned to set up four sports centres in equal number of cities to support budding new sports talents.