Bhubaneswar: Odisha has of late emerged as one of the major sporting hubs in the country and the ongoing FIH hockey World Cup has surely added another feather to the state’s cap.
The inaugural Young Reporters Programme (YRP) got off to a fantastic start in the presence of among others Asit Tripathy, Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) of the Odisha government.
Praising the state’s effort, Tripathy, who is also the President of the odisha Tennis Association and the state’s golf association, said Bhubaneswar has pulled much above its weight by organising one major tournament after another within a short span.
“Bhubaneswar is pulling much above its weight, in the past couple of years it has hosted a number of international events like the Hockey World League Finals and the ongoing FIH World Cup,” Tripathy said after inaugurating the event.
Commending the Sports Journalists Federation of India’s (SJFI) efforts in organising the maiden YRP, that has attracted eight overseas young reporters from neighbouring Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Tripathy termed the profession as a “noble” one.
“I am very impressed with the SJFI’s effort, journalism is a noble profession. This is a unique initiative. I am glad to be a part of the event,” he said.
The YRP also comprises 22 young sports journalists from across the country, taking part in the five-day event that culminates on Sunday.
Rueing the lack of adequate Olympic medallists in a country of a billion, Tripathy called for the need of expanding the base at the grassroot level.
“We have 1-2 Olympic medallists out of a billion population just because the base is narrow. I spent a year in Slovenia, where I found 500 players at the grassroot level in a country with a total population of just over 1.5 lakh.”
“Sports is a democratic activity. In a field if you don’t perform well, it hardly matters whose family you belong to,” he quipped.
Following the event, each of the young reporters introduced themselves while highlighting their motive behind taking up sports journalism as a career.