Low-cost infra development at district-level vital to promote sports culture: Odisha Minister

Bhubaneswar: Development of low-cost infrastructure at the district-level is imperative to promote sports culture, Odisha Sports & Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera has said.

Behera was speaking at the two-day conference – ‘Chintan Shivir’ – of Sports Ministers of states and UTs organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in Imphal, Manipur.

“While world class infrastructure is important to bring international events to India, it is also vitally essential to develop low-cost infrastructure at the district-level. This will particularly enable us to build a strong sports culture among the youth,” he said highlighting the 22 hockey training centres built across Odisha.

Behera highlighted Odisha’s “commitment to the overall development of the sports ecosystem in the state through its unique partnership model for sporting excellence that reflects in the High Performance Centres (HPCs) and partnership with national sports federations”.

He emphasised on the unique partnership model initiated by Odisha which brings together like-minded corporate houses and eminent sports persons and organisations to establish the HPCs partnership for sporting excellence and development while also highlighting the marque international and national events like FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup (2018, 2023), FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, SAFF U20 Championship, among various others that has made Odisha a “hub of sports”.

“It is great to see that our Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur Ji is taking this step to bring everyone together for betterment of sports infrastructure in our country and the need to work cohesively to make India a sports superpower,” he said.

This conference will help shape a framework for all the state governments and stakeholders in mapping a trajectory for growth and development of sports in our country, the minister added.

At the conference, a comprehensive presentation was also made by Sports Secretary Vineel Krishna who led the group comprising Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Manipur, West Bengal, and Meghalaya that discussed action points on sports infrastructure and coach development.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur emphasised that the states should come forward to promote games and sports in India through sharing ideas and strategies for developing the sector. Thakur appreciated Odisha’s sports model of partnership and its vision for sports.

More than 100 invitees from various states, UTs and the Ministry of Youth Affairs attended the conference and put forward their views and ideas on making India into one of the biggest sporting powers in the world.


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