Bhubaneswar, Aug 29: On the occasion of National Sports Day, celebrated annually on the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand, Odisha recognized and honoured outstanding contributions to sports and games.
In a grand award ceremony held at Bhubaneswar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik presented the prestigious Biju Patnaik Sports Award to Cyclist Swasti Singh for her exceptional performance in the field of sports.
Swasti Singh was celebrated for her extraordinary achievements and dedication to cycling, which has brought laurels to the state of Odisha. In recognition of her remarkable talent, she was bestowed with the Biju Patnaik Sports Award for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games. The Chief Minister presented her with a cash award of Rs. 2.00 lakhs as a token of appreciation and encouragement for her continued pursuit of excellence in sports.
The Chief Minister also acknowledged other eminent personalities who have made remarkable contributions to the sports arena. Hockey Coach Peter Tirkey and Football Coach Rajendra Prasad Singh were conferred with the lifetime achievement award, a testament to their unwavering dedication and guidance in shaping the future of young sportsperson. Each coach was presented with a cash award of Rs. 3 Lakhs in recognition of their outstanding careers.
The realm of coaching and sports journalism was also celebrated during the ceremony. Coach Pradeep Kumar Sarangi and Sports Journalist Ajay Kumar Das were felicitated with the Biju Patnaik Sports Award for Excellence in Coaching and Biju Patnaik Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism, respectively. Their invaluable contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping the sports landscape of Odisha. Each awardee received a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh from the Chief Minister.
Odisha Police was awarded Biju Patnaik Award for sports promotion for the organisational efforts towards promotion of sports and providing jobs for sportspersons. DG of Police Sh Sunil Bansal and ADG R K Sharma received the award from the Chief Minister.
Para badminton player, Deep Ranjan Bisoyee was named the Best Para Sportsperson of the year and was presented with a cash award of Rs. 1 Lakh. Sabita Toppo, an upcoming athlete with immense potential, was celebrated as the Best Upcoming Athlete and was awarded Rs. 1 Lakh.
The crucial role played by technical officials was also highlighted during the event. Brigadier Bibhu Bhushan Nayak was felicitated with Rs 1 Lakh in recognition to his contribution to the sporting ecosystem.
Late Saroj Kumar Das, and Late Sudarshan Swain have displayed remarkable courage and valour in the most challenging circumstances, serving as shining examples of bravery for our society. Chief Minister Patnaik honoured their sacrifice with the Bravery Awards, which was received by their family members.
The award ceremony highlighted Odisha's strong commitment to acknowledging and fostering excellence in sports. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated all the award winners and extended his gratitude for the unwavering dedication of athletes, coaches, and individuals who played a pivotal role in advancing the sports landscape of the state.
V K Pandian, Secretary to CM (5T) also attended the event and interacted with the awardees and sportspersons. He congratulated the awardees and motivated the young athletes to work hard and bring laurels to the state and nation.
Earlier at the award ceremony, Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, Chairman Hockey Promotion Council Dilip Tirkey, Secretary, Sports Vineel Krishna and Director Sports, Siddhartha Das felicitated a total of 388 athletes who have received 899 cash awards amounting to ₹2,02,30,000 for their excellence in their respective sports discipline.
Chief Secretary P K Jena, DC Anu Garg, Sports administrators of various associations. eminent sports persons, sports journalists and young sports persons participated in the event.