Industrialists, Odisha sports department sign MoU to bolster state's sporting potential

Bhubaneshwar: A fortnight before Hockey World Cup 2018 kicks off in Bhubaneswar, country's seven leading industrialists signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to help promote the sports culture in the state. The move effectively means the industry captains will sponsor respective sporting disciplines.

The Hockey World Cup trophy was unveiled at the event. Image courtesy: Firstpost

The Hockey World Cup trophy was unveiled at the event. Image courtesy: Firstpost

Reliance Industries Group adopted athletics, while football and swimming were taken by JSW Group. Badminton was taken over by Dalmia Bharat Group, weightlifting by Ahluwalia Group, shooting by Aditya Birla Group, and hockey by Tata Group.

The move promises world-class training facilities for upcoming athletes, and is aimed to nurture sporting talent from across the country. The World Cup trophy was also unveiled at the event by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik amid thundering applause by a sellout crowd at the Kalinga Stadium.

The event began with a welcome speech by Chandra Sarathi Behera, state's Minister of Sports & Youth Services and continued till early evening, with almost all leading dignitaries gracing the podium with their speeches regarding their foundation and efforts that will be undertaken by them to promote their chosen sports.

Speaking about this move, Vishal Kumar Dev, state's sports secretary, said, "It is a great day not just for the state but for the country as well. This move was long overdue in order to fully develop the quality of sport and sportsmen in the country. By signing this MOU's we have built a framework which will work towards sporting education, talent identification at grass root levels and infrastructural development at a global level."

Commenting on the signing of the MoUs, the chief minister said, "The signing of this MOU has created a long-lasting partnership which will result in producing sportspersons of world standards. But this partnership is more than just giving grants and funds, it will focus on extending the outreach of every sport in India.”

Also present on the occasion were IOA and FIH President Dr Narendra Batra, national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, former India cricketer and coach Anil Kumble, ace shooter Gagan Narang.

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Updated Date: Nov 12, 2018 23:29:56 IST

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