In an effort to boost sports facilities in the state, to promote young talent in sports and create a sports culture within the state, Odisha has launched five High-performance centers on Monday.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the facilities in the presence of sports personalities like Anil Kumble and Pullela Gopichand. The Chief Minister also inaugurated a climbing wall and felicitated 162 outstanding sportspersons from the state with cash awards.
Speaking at the event, Naveen Patnaik said, "Today is a historic day for Sports development in Odisha as a state that's passionate about sports, we understand how beneficial the opening of these High-performance centers is to a sportsman as well as the Nation. I am delighted to dedicate these centers to the sports loving people of Odisha, and I thank every one of you associated with this initiative and for joining us in the journey of making Odisha- the Sports destination of India."
The launch ceremony that took place at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar, the state capital. Commissioner-cum-Secretary Sports and Youth Services Vishal K Dev told NDTV, "When you talk of being a global destination for sports you also have to be one of finest training and coaching centres. With that objective in mind we roped in the finest and eminent sportspersons like Gagan Narang, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra and Anil Kumble. We also roped in some big prominent corporates. The idea was the government would facilitate the project, part of the funding would come from corporates and a sportsperson would run the whole set up. We did not want the government to run these centres."
"The high performance centres also have a sports rehabilitation and injury management centre along with athletics, football, swimming, hockey, shooting training centre. I understand this is one of the finest centres in the country with the kinds of machines and equipment it has. The centre can undertake an entire body analysis of a sportsperson and indicate what areas physiologically need to be improve," Mr Dev added.
Former cricketer Anil Kumble told reporters, "It starts with under 13 and the goes to under 23. We have identified talented kids and brought them here. The leadership is serious and wants to develop sports."
Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said, "It is really wonderful to see the way in which Odisha has taken a lead in making an effort to promote sports in the country. They have shown what's possible and other states can take a lead from this."