Bhubaneswar: The union minister of state for sports and youth affairs, Kiren Rijiju, has lauded the Odisha government’s initiatives in promoting sports in the State.

“I am impressed the way in which Odisha Government is supporting and promoting sports. Over the years, the State has introduced many initiatives to encourage various sports disciplines. International events are awarded basis these efforts and initiatives of the local Government,” said Rijiju.

Rijiju was  in the city on Friday to attend the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, said the State government and the people of Odisha are very proactive in promoting sports. The enthusiasm amongst them is very palpable and  this contributes to the growth of sports, he added.

The union minister visited the Abhinav Bindra Target Performance Centre, at the Kalinga Stadium Complex.

At the state-of-art ABTP Centre set up by Odisha government in collaboration with Rungta Mines and Abhinav Futuristic, the union sports minister spent time understanding the working of different equipments such as  the Walker-View, D- Wall, and Cryo-chamber and got a feel of the assessment and recovery mechanisms at the Centre  that are assisting athletes in enhancing their sporting skills and performance at their games

Speaking about his visit, Kiren Rijiju said, “I have come to Bhubaneswar to cheer and encourage our Hockey Women’s and Men’s team. I am extremely hopeful both our teams will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. And as a Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, it is my responsibility to ensure our boys and girls are being encouraged appropriately and provide them support wherever necessary.”