Bhubaneswar, Aug 18: By successfully organising series of international sporting events in recent years, Odisha has set a new benchmark as host. The professionalism, hospitality, service, dedication, sincerity, teamwork and crowd support in Odisha have been very impressive and incredible.
These words of applause were unanimously uttered by dignitaries at the 'Dr Ashok Patnaik Memorial Lecture on Asian Games' hosted by the Odisha Sports Journalists Association (OSJA) at Kalinga Stadium, here on Friday.
Addressing the occasion, hockey coach David John stated how Odisha in the recent years has successfully hosted so many global sporting events successfully. He was all praise for the facilities at Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela and Kalinga Stadium in Odisha capital.
John, who earlier had a long stint with Hockey India as the High Performance Director, is working since May 2022 as a Director with Hockey Odisha.
His voice was echoed by Rajiv Seth, Project Director, Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre in Bhubaneswar. Worth mentioning that Seth played first-class cricket for Bengal and Odisha. But after a successful career in cricket, he fell in love with hockey.
Both John and Seth also highlighted how sports journalists play an important role in promoting sports and sportspersons. They hardly get recognition or rewards for all their lifelong dedication to sports and games, the duo stated.
Gracing the occasion, Senior IAS Officer Siddhartha Das (Sports and Youth Services Director, Government of Odisha) enumerated how sports journalists play a vital part in the career of a sportsman. Their reports not only motivate a sportsperson but at times their constructive criticisms may propel a sportsperson to bounce back with more enthusiasm and vigour.
Das added that a certain report or story may not be liked by a sportsperson at times, but he or she should learn to take that with a pinch of salt. The sports journalists are the real well wishers of sports fraternity. Their writings, efforts and photographs are treasures for a sportsperson. Their efforts are hardly recognised.
He further stated that when one reads a newspaper, he or she should start from the sports page(s), which has more positive news, highlights success and achievements. His opinion was greeted with cheers and claps by the lively audience at the Kalinga Stadium Tennis Centre auditorium.
Addressing the occasion, former India women hockey captain Rani Rampal narrated how she was inspired by published reports about her seniors in newspapers and took up hockey as a full time career. She added journalists contribute a lot to society. That is the reason why even after 25 years of his death, Dr Ashok Patnaik is remembered with so much love and affection even today.
The OSJA Annual Souvenir 2023 was released by the dignitaries on the dais. The photograph of OSJA member 'Ironman' Soubhagya Rath at Europe's highest peak Mount Elbrus on the cover page of the souvenir was highly appreciated by the guests in the meeting. Rath recently scaled Mt Elbrus.
The meeting also felicitated OSJA President Sandeep Mishra, who has been nominated as a Member of the Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) Golden Jubilee Committee.
OSJA Joint Secretary Suresh Swain, who has been recently elected as an Executive Member of SJFI was also felicitated on the occasion.
Earlier, OSJA President Sandeep Mishra and veteran sports journalist Sambit Mohapatra graced the occasion. Vote of thanks was offered by OSJA Secretary Debi Prasanna Mohanty.