Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated the Asia’s first international sports literary meet, Ekamra Sports Literature Festival, at Mayfair Convention in Odisha capital.
Inaugurating the two-day event, the Chief Minister said that sports can be a life-changing experience and change our outlook towards life.
“I am delighted to be here today to join all of you at this star-studded event of Ekamra Sports Literary Festival. Eminent sportspersons, coaches and sports writers from across the globe are here to support the cause of sports. Your presence has created the much-needed euphoria for the upcoming Men’s World Cup Hockey. I welcome all of you to Odisha,” he said.
Stating that Odisha has been the cradle of hockey with many of top Indian players from Odisha donning the national colours, Naveen said hosting the mega event in Bhubanewar was no less than a glory for the state. “We wanted to take our commitment towards the sport to another level by putting a spectacular show, which would eventually see hockey lovers from across the globe return home with alluring memories from the event here,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the audience will get the best in terms of experience and comfort of watching the matches live and hoped that all the 16 participating teams would showcase the spirit of sportsmanship.
“While the greatest spectacle in the world of Hockey is coming to Bhubaneswar, it’s natural that there will be a lot of writing on the event as well. We welcome the finest minds in the world of sports to write, discuss and reveal their stories on sports, and make people engaged to, not alone hockey, but to the entire realm of sports and games,” he said.
Naveen further said that sports literature can create a special kind of aura of sports in the minds of people. “The games and their impact, the players and their struggles, victories and rejoices, failures and disappointment, and if possible, the story behind each story — sports literature can truly captivate and bring our generation under the impression of sports,” he added.
The Chief Minister also unveiled the covers of a Ready Reckoner on Hockey World Cups and a sports magazine ‘Hockey Bites’ on the occasion.
Among others, Sports minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, legendary hockey players Dilip Tirkey and Ajit Pal Singh, Olympian Stephanie Rice and Sports Secretary Vishal Dev were present.