Odisha Sports & Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera has said that it is crucial to provide low-cost facilities at the district level in order to encourage sports culture.
Behera was speaking during the two-day “Chintan Shivir” conference of state and UT sports ministers, which was held in Imphal, Manipur, and was sponsored by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
“While developing affordable infrastructure at the district level is crucial for attracting international events to India, world-class infrastructure is equally crucial. This would help us in particular to cultivate a strong sports culture among the kids, he added, mentioning the 22 hockey training facilities established around Odisha.
In his remarks, Behera emphasised Odisha's “commitment to the overall development of the sports ecosystem in the state through its unique partnership model for sporting excellence that is reflected in the High Performance Centres (HPCs) and partnership with national sports federations.”
He emphasised the innovative partnership model developed by Odisha, which brings together like-minded corporate entities and illustrious sports figures and organisations to establish the HPCs partnership for sporting excellence and development. He also highlighted the major international and national competitions, such as the SAFF U20 Championship and the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, which have established Odisha as a “hub of sports” and the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup (2018, 2023).
It is wonderful to see that our Union Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur Ji, is taking this action to unite everyone in support of improving the sports infrastructure in our nation and the need to work cooperatively to make India a sports powerhouse, he added.
According to the minister, this conference will aid in creating a framework for all state governments and other stakeholders to follow as they plot a course for the expansion and advancement of sports in our nation.
Vineel Krishna, the sports secretary for Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Manipur, West Bengal, and Meghalaya, gave a thorough presentation during the conference on the topic of coach development and sports infrastructure.
The states should step up to promote games and sports in India by exchanging ideas and plans for growing the industry, Union Minister Anurag Thakur highlighted. Thakur admired Odisha's partnership sports concept and its outlook on sports.
At the conference, more than 100 invited guests from several states, UTs, and the Ministry of Youth Affairs shared their perspectives and ideas for turning India into one of the world's leading athletic nations.