39 sportspersons joined the State Police Service in Odisha on Saturday. Of these, 30 were women, and nine were men. Earlier, 96 sportspersons joined the police across ranks in six phases, according to a statement released by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
In a virtual induction programme, CM Naveen Patnaik congratulated the entrants and praised them for their passion, discipline, and hard work to mark sports. He also assured that the government would keep supporting the athletes so that they can achieve their dreams.
Elaborating on the role of sports, he said that sports is the best way to teach good values and positively channel the youth's vitality.
"Therefore, investment in sports is an investment in youth. Investment in youth is investment in the future of this state (sic.)", Patnaik said, as quoted by the ANI.
Investment in Sports
To this effect, the government is investing over Rs 1,000 crore to develop sports infrastructure across Odisha. For Hockey World Cup 2023, it is building the country's largest hockey stadium in Rourkela.
Patnaik claimed that the state has ventured on a mission in making Odisha a sports powerhouse. To achieve that, the state has been devising solid strategies. The government has engaged in partnerships with reputed athletes and corporates to start high-performance centres. Further, the government will focus on sports education in schools and at coaching centres at the grass-root level.
He also drew upon the growing success of para-athletes at the international level in the last few years. For instance, Arjuna Awardee Pramod Bhagat is a leading contestant for the medal in the Paralympics. The CM also expressed that the government will keep supporting the para-athletes and assist them in employment to excel in sports.
During the past few years, Odisha has been emerging as a prominent name in the country's sports sector. The state has successfully hosted several national and international sporting events, like the Asian Athletics Championship 2017 and the Hockey World Cup 2018.