Bhubaneswar: Odisha has been adjudged the ‘Best State for Promotion of Sports’ for the second consecutive year by Sportstar Aces.
Sports Minister of Odisha Tusharkanti Behera received the award at an event in Mumbai on Monday evening.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted: “It adds another feather to Odisha’s cap and strengthens our resolve to transform Odisha into a global sports hub.”
Ace para badminton player Pramod Bhagat and hockey star Deep Grace Ekka from the state also won the Sportsman of the Year (Para-sports) Jury award and Sportswoman of the Year (Team Sports) award respectively.
Odisha scored over Telangana and Tamil Nadu to be the winner, which was decided on basis of the budgetary allocation, stadium infrastructure, management of nation-level and international-level events, among others.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, The Hindu Publishing Group Chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M. M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian shuttler Aparna Popat were in the panel that decided the winners.
Odish had made a budgetary allocation of Rs 220 crore for 2019-20.
In 2019, five international events were played in Odisha and 13 athletes from the state won international medals in various sports. Besides, Kalinga Stadium Sports Complex in Bhubaneshwar and the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack, the state boasts of 28 stadiums at district headquarters, mini stadiums in 314 blocks and 149 urban local bodies and rural play fields across 3,120 gram panchayats.
Eminent sports personalities across various categories were also felicitated during the award ceremony. Cricket legend Kapil Dev was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award.