14 January 2020
Bhubaneswar: Odisha beat Telangana and Tamil Nadu when it was adjudged as the Best State for Promotion of Sports at the Sportstar Aces Awards in Mumbai on Monday evening.
The winner was decided on basis of the budgetary allocation (Odisha had Rs 220 crore for 2019-20), stadium infrastructure, management of nation-level and international-level events and other important criteria.
The Kalinga Stadium Sports Complex in Bhubaneshwar and the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack are some of the state-level infrastructure in the State. Odisha hosted five international events last year, and 13 athletes from the state won international medals across various sports.
The State also boasts of 28 stadiums at district headquarters, mini stadiums in 314 blocks and 149 urban local bodies and rural playfields covering 3,120-gram panchayats.
Receiving the prestigious award, Sports Minister of Odisha Tusharkanti Behera thanked Sportstar and the Hindu group. He also thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for actively spearheading in making Odisha a notable sports destination.
The awards ceremony also felicitated eminent sports personalities across various categories.
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 selected the deserving winners.