BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday called upon start-ups and entrepreneurs to invest in sports sector of the State. Addressing the valedictory ceremony of SPORTS IT 2020 at Kalinga Stadium here, he said, “We want to create an inclusive platform that would not only celebrate sports innovation and entrepreneurship but also involve sportspersons, sports start-ups, high-performance centres and students in a significant way.” It will encourage the participants from sports fraternity to meet, exchange knowledge and learn from one another, he added.
SPORT IT 2020, India’s first sports and innovation festival, was jointly organised by Xavier Emlyon Business School (XEBS) and Sports and Youth Services department. Appreciating the unique venture, the Chief Minister said, “I am sure the festival will enhance the outcome of our efforts to bring innovation to sports and promote a sporting culture among the youth.”
He said it was a matter of happiness that Odisha has been conferred with Sports-Star Ace Award for the consecutive second year as the Best State for Sports Promotion in the entire country. This reflects the commitment of Government for development of sport, he said.The Chief Minister handed over the Best Startup Award to Funngage, a curated and integrated sports platform from Delhi, which received a cash prize of ` one lakh as announced by Emlyon Business School, France.
Similarly, he felicitated the team, who won the Hackathon contest, that included tennis player Chinmay Pradhan, para-athlete Dileshwar Rao, programme manager of Naval Tata Hockey Academy Debashis Nayak, basketball coach Rajesh Singh and Professor of sports Sovan Patnaik. They would be flying to Lyon in September to attend the biggest sports innovation festival in Europe, Sports Unlimitech. MSME Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra and Sports Minister Tushar Kanti Behera felicitated all 12 start-ups who participated in the festival.
Secretary of Sports and Youth Services Vishal Kumar Dev, Director R Vineel Krishna, Vice-Chancellor of Xavier University Father Tony Uvari, SJ, Chairman of XEBS Ashley Fernandes, founder of SAI International School Bijay Sahoo and managing director of Gupta Power Mahendra Gupta were also present.