Odisha has won the ‘Best State for the Promotion of Sports’ at the 2023 Sportstar Aces Awards, for the fourth time, since the inception of the awards. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will be receiving this today at an award ceremony in Mumbai, hosted by Sportstar. This annual event is a celebration of sports and sportspersons and will be attended by a galaxy of reputed sportspersons across disciplines.
The recognition comes as a result of the state’s unique sports model, which is built around the pillars of partnership for sporting excellence, competition, coaching, infrastructure and welfare schemes for meritorious athletes.
Sportspersons from the state of Odisha have brought laurels by winning medals at international and national competitions. The FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 held in Bhubaneswar – Rourkela has garnered attention and admiration for the state of Odisha in the sports fraternity. In 2022, Odisha hosted international competitions such as Odisha Open, SAAF U20 Championship, FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, FIBA 2022 (SABA Qualifiers), FIH Hockey Pro League, and National competitions such as Indian Women’s League, Aquatic Junior Nationals, IWLF Youth Juniors and Senior National Weightlifting Championship 2022, Para Athletics Championship and Para Badminton Nationals to name a few.
The Odisha government under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik is also prioritizing the development of sports infrastructure in the state. It is committed to creating state-of-the-art facilities that can serve as a training ground for budding athletes. The iconic Kalinga Sports Complex is one of the finest sports facilities in the country. Several mega sports projects within its premises including India’s first Indoor Athletics Centre, Tennis Court, Indoor Aquatics Centre, Hockey High Performance Centre and an elaborate Sports Science Centre are near completion and will play a significant role in developing champions of tomorrow for the country.
In Rourkela, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium was recently inducted into the Guinness book of world records as the largest fully-seated hockey stadium of the world. Despite an abundance of pandemic induced challenges, the facility which also houses an Olympic-style Hockey Village with 225 rooms was built in merely 15 months.
Similarly, to promote sports and fitness in the society, Odisha is developing 90 multi-purpose indoor halls across all urban areas. These are complemented with a wide range of other sports infrastructure including swimming pool training centres, football training centres, hockey training centres and sports complexes.
The SportStar Aces Awards recognize excellence in sports in India and are highly prestigious. Odisha’s Best State for the Promotion of Sport honour is a testament to the state’s commitment to promoting sports and providing athletes with the necessary resources to succeed.