Mumbai: Odisha bagged the ‘Best State for Promotion of Sports’ Award at the prestigious Sportstar Ace Awards 2019 for the state successfully organizing the Men’s Hockey World Cup last year.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik received the award from Indian chess Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, here on Wednesday.

Odisha was nominated along with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the Best State for Promotion of Sports category.

Patnaik dedicated the award to the people of Odisha.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said , “I believe that investment in sports is investment for the youth, investment in the youth is investment in the future. ”

He also emphasised on the importance of the the participation of states in promoting and developing sports in the country. “If the states start adopting one or two games, it will hugely benefit the sports ecosystem in the country. Only when states are involved, we can broaden the catchment for sports talent. We may not have to wait for too long for the world to hear or national anthem being played on the Olympics stage,” he added.

Sportstar Ace Award is conferred in recognisation of Indian sportspersons for their exemplary achievements and outstanding contributions to sports.