Puri: The British Deputy High Commission Kolkata commemorated the Commonwealth Day 2022 with a friendly Beach Volleyball Match at the Blue Flag Beach, Puri. It was done in collaboration with Sports & Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha and Puri Administration on March 13.
British Deputy High Commissioner to East and Northeast India, Nick Low kicked off the friendly Beach Volleyball Match with Samarth Verma, IAS, Collector and District Magistrate, Puri.
A joined team of ‘UK in Kolkata’ played against the ‘Odisha Sports’ in the match. Team ‘Odisha Sports’ won the match.
“I’m delighted to return to Odisha, where I’ll renew old friendships and make new ones. Celebrating Commonwealth Day in Puri and in Bhubaneswar as we look forward to the XXII Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 will be special. Odisha’s passion for sport shone through at the brilliant FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup and when the state hosted the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay in January. The four nations of the United Kingdom share that passion. I want sport and sports industry to be at the heart of our UK-Odisha relationship,” British Deputy High Commissioner to East and Northeast India, Mr. Nick Low said.
“It is an honour for us and we are extremely delighted to partner with the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, once again, and celebrate the spirit of the Commonwealth Games. It is our shared vision to promote sports and we look forward to collectively working towards it in many spheres. I extend my best wishes to the entire team,” R Vineel Krishna, IAS, Commissioner cum Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha said.
Samarth Verma, IAS, Collector and District Magistrate, Puri continued saying, “I am delighted to be with the British Deputy High Commission Kolkata in playing a friendly beach volleyball match to commemorate the Commonwealth Day.”
Later after the match, Nick Low went to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery in Puri to lay a wreath.
Commonwealth Day was observed on March 14, 2022. The UK is currently Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, and UK in India network marked Commonwealth Day with a series of events across India including receptions and a model CHOGM for students.
The Commonwealth is a unique association of 54 equal member states, and 2.4 billion people spanning six continents, and accounting for a third of the World Trade Organisation, a quarter of the G20, and a fifth of all global trade.
India is a founding member of the modern Commonwealth, and home to nearly 60% of Commonwealth citizens. As a leading member, India provides impressive support to Commonwealth members, including with a Commonwealth Window in its UK Development fund, funding to the Commonwealth Small States offices in New York and Geneva, training for officials from Commonwealth governments. In 2019, it held the first Commonwealth cricket camp.
A distinguishing feature of the Commonwealth is that it not just a network of governments, but a family of interconnected networks. Sport is another example and will be on full display at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8. A range of Indian athletes will celebrate these connections on Twitter this week. This year’s Commonwealth Day also holds special significance for the UK, as we celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – a testament to the strength and longevity of the Commonwealth.