Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation to set up a world-class badminton academy in Odisha.
P Gopichand and Sports Secretary Vishal Dev signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at state secretariat here.
The Foundation will provide technical support and overall development of badminton in state.
“The state aspires to win Olympic medals in sports and there is no better than Pullela Gopichand to help Odisha realize this dream. He has trained several national and international badminton players who have brought laurels to the country,”Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on the occasion.
The world class badminton training facility will help groom world class champions from the state. The state government will provide all possible support to Gopichand and his foundation, he added.
Recalling the success of Asian Athletics Championships, the Chief Minister said that it was organized in a period of 90 days where 42 countries and more than 1000 sports persons participated. The event demonstrated the leadership ability of the state and emergence of Bhubaneswar as the Sports Capital of India.
“I am immensely pleased to see the kind of support the state government is providing to sports. The success of Asian Athletics Championships, sponsorship of Indian Hockey Team and establishment of high performance training centres clearly underlines that Odisha is a great state and has a visionary government. The government is making all efforts to bring Odisha in the global sporting map,” Gopichand said.
Prior to him delivering lecture at Odisha Knowledge Hub and signing of the MoU, Gopichand visited Kalinga Stadium.
On the sidelines of the event, Patnaik released Asian Athletics Championship coffee table book “Challenge to Opportunity”.
Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, MSME Minister Prafulla Samal, Health Minister Pratap Jena, SC&ST Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary Sports Vishal Dev and other senior officials of the Sports Department were present on the occasion.