Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated the Asia’s first Ekamra International Sports Literature Festival at Mayfair Convention in Bhubaneswar.
The Chief Minister also unveiled the covers of a Ready Reckoner on Hockey World Cups and a sports magazine ‘Hockey Bites’.
Speaking on the occasion Patnaik said, “I am delighted to be here today to join all of you at this star studded event of Ekamra Sports Literary Festival. Eminent Sports persons, Coaches and Sports writers from across the globe are here to support the cause of Sports. Your presence has created the much needed euphoria for the upcoming Men’s World Cup Hockey. I welcome all of you to Odisha.”
“Hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar is a certainly a glory for us. For several decades now, Odisha has been the cradle of hockey with many of top Indian players from Odisha donning the national colours. As a State, we wanted to take our commitment towards the sport to another level by putting a spectacular show, which would eventually see hockey lovers from across the globe return back home with alluring memories from the event here. Our aim is to give the audience the best in terms of experience and comfort of watching the matches live. I hope that all the 16 participating teams will showcase the spirit of sportsmanship in their endeavour,” the chief minister said.
The Odisha CM said, “While the greatest spectacle in the world of Hockey is coming to Bhubaneswar; it’s natural that there will be a lot of writing on the event as well. We welcome the finest minds in the world of sports to write, discuss and reveal their stories on sports, and make people engaged to, not alone Hockey, but to the entire realm of sports and games.”
Patnaik also stressed that sports literature can create a special kind of aura of sports in the minds of people. The games and their impact, the players and their struggles, victories and rejoices, failures and disappointment, and if possible, the story behind each story– Sports literature can truly captivate and bring our generation under the impression of sports. Sports can be a life changing experience. In fact, it can change our outlook towards life.”
“I am sure; this two-day Sports Literary Festival will bring together eminent persons in the field of sports and sports lovers together and pay an outstanding tribute to the upcoming epic event. I wish the festival all success,” Patnaik concluded.
An initiative of Emerging Sports and the Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, this high-powered Conclave also include some of the biggest sports stars including athletes, players and coaches, national and international sportswriters.
Asia’s largest and most prestigious Sports Literature Festival, is being held on November 2nd and 3rd at Mayfair Convention here, as a precursor to the Hockey World Cup being hosted in Bhubaneswar.
Undoubtedly, India has never witnessed an event of this magnitude, which would not only create headlines but also pave the way for a new sporting philosophy and sports strategy to emerge.
During the two-day conclave, numerous national and international sportswriters, state government, authors, players and coaches will also be available for interaction.
The inaugural event features as many as 30 speakers, including Ben Johnson, world-renowned former Canadian Sprinter; Richard Moore, Sports Journalist and Author Ajinkya Rahane, right-handed top order batsman Jeff Thomson, former Australian Cricketer Yogeshwar Dutt, Indian Olympic Medalist and Wrestler Bajrang Punia, silver medalist World Wrestling Championship Vinesh Phogat, gold medalist Asian Games Mohammed Kaif, former Indian Cricketer Stephanie Rice, Triple Olympic Gold Medalist Swimming Neeraj Chopra, Asian Games Gold Medalist Javelin Gymnast Dipa Karmakar and Ric Charlesworth, sporting coach and former hockey player.
The event was also graced by Chandra Sarathi Behera. Minister, Odisha Sports and Youth Services, Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister, Tourism and Culture and Vishal K Dev Commissioner-cum-Secretary Department of Sports and Youth Services. Govt of Odisha Sports fans from across the globe have registered to be a part of this Festival.