Bhubaneswar: The 38th National Women’s Sports Competition began at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar amidst much fanfare. Sportswomen from at least 21 states are participating in the four-day sports extravaganza. Odisha Minister for Sports & Youth Services, Shri Ramesh Chandra Majhi inaugurated the competition.
Mr. Majhi addressed the sportswomen and urged them to take sports along with study. “Today’s women are no less than men in any field. The women have proved their mettle in sports too. So, there is a desperate need to promote sports among the women in our country,” he said.
Shri Injeti Srinivas, Principal Secretary of Odisha Government, said, “There is no dearth of sports talent in a nation of 120 crore people, but there is a need for conducive environment and strong sports infrastructure to take the sports forward”. He also stressed on the need for adding Sports to the curricullim in schools.
School and Mass Education Secretary Smt Usha Padhi also addressed the gathering and said there is no other area, which can bring more fame and glory than sports. She cited the example of Olympic bronze medalist Mary Kom. She also took the example of international karate player Valina Valentina, who hails from Odisha.
CRPF Assistant Commandant Rashmi Das expressed her desire to train the sportswomen from the state if necessary. All sportswomen participated in the march past with their placards. Students of DAV Public School, Unit 8, performed the inaugural song. Other cultural programmes included the Ganesh Vandana by DAV Public School, CS Pur, Dalkhai Dance by KISS students, Jodi Sankha by Narendrapur, Ganjam, Baunsa Rani Game and Keshab Swain’s green coconut breaking.
Around 510 athletes from 21 states will take part in this four-day-long competition. Basketball and Swimming competitions will be held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, while Gymnastics will be held at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack.