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Prominent Odisha sportspersons conferred Biju Patnaik Sports Award

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Bhubaneswar: Ace Odia sprinter Dutee Chand was conferred with the prestigious Biju Patnaik Sports Award for “Outstanding Performance” on the occasion of National Sports Day today.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated prominent sportspersons and coaches in the State for their significant contribution in the particular field at a function held at Jaydev Bhawan here on the birth anniversary of India’s hockey wizard late Dhyan Chand.

Coach Panchanana Gantayat was felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement award while Sanhita Das was awarded for excellence in coaching.

Both were given cash award of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively on the occasion.

Hariprasad Pattnayak, founder of Utkal Karate School, has been awarded for the Best Contribution to Promotion of Sports and Games and received Rs 50,000 and a statuette.

Prominent sports journalists Ashok Kumar Panda and Rajanikanta Satrusalya have been felicitated for excellence in sports journalism in Odisha. The duo received a cash award of Rs 25,000 each.

Besides, six sportsperson with disability were given cash prizes in the Outstanding Sportspersons category. They are Jayanti Behera (Para Athletes) who received Rs 12 lakh, Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton) Rs 13.50 lakh, Rajesh Meher (Special Olympics) Rs 8 lakh, Jafar Iqbal and Sukhram Majhi (Blind Cricket) Rs 5 lakh each. Dipsan Tirkey (Hockey) Rs 8 lakh, Sarita Routray (Beach Volleyball) Rs 2.50 lakh, Bonita Lakra and Bighnaraj Miridia received Rs 1 lakh each.

G Narahari was given Rs 3 lakh for crossing English channel in Relay format.

Similarly, Harischandra Hiaal and Mohan Garada, residents of Koraput district, were given the Biju Patnaik Bravery Award for rescuing five children during a flash flood last year.

The State Award for Social Service was also conferred on six social activists. They are Meera Parida, Dinesh Kumar Mallick, Manoj Kumar Dani, Jhasaketan Ranaj, Gracy Mol Singh and Chinmaya Kumar Bebarta who received Rs 25,000 each.

Addressing the gathering, the CM said, “My government has accorded high priority to promotion of sports and development of sports infrastructure in the State.”

He also informed that the State government is planning to set up a Sports City in Bhubaneswar with world-class infrastructure.

Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, departmental secretary and director Vishal Dev and Vineel Krishna were present at felicitation ceremony.

Notably, this is the highest award constituted by State Sports and Youth Affairs Department since 2001-02.