Bhubaneswar: The  Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, Monday inaugurated the first Tribal Sports Meet in the state. He also unveiled the logo for the event.

“The objective of the event is to bring out the hidden talents among the tribal youth,” said here Patnaik, while inaugurating the Meet through video conferencing. He said the tribals have extraordinary sporing potentials and hoped that they would bring laurels to the state and the country. The Odisha tribals  have been performing well in the sports like hockey, archery and athletics,” the chief minister added he pointed out that many from Odisha have become part of the Indian Hockey team and even become captains.

There are 62 tribes in Odisha and all of them inherit sports qualities through their traditional culture, said SC/ST Development Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi.

The sports meet is being organised across 119 tribal-dominated blocks along with the 30 districts of the state. The upper age limit for participants in the event is 35 years, he said.

Besides individual games like archery and athletics, teams can also participate in football, hockey, kabaddi, khoko and volley ball.

The prize money of Rs 3,61,200 will be distributed among the winners in each district, he said, adding, a total of Rs 1,08,36,000 cash prize will be given to winners in all the 30 districts.

The Tribal Sports Meet is being held in the under-14, under-16 and over-17 categories, said sports & youth affairs minister, Chandra Sarathi Behera.