Thursday, 7 July, 2022

PM accords reception to footballers, physically challenged cricketers

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 20 June, 2022 12:00 AM
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PM accords reception to footballers, physically challenged cricketers
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over a cheque to Bangladesh women’s U-19 national football team captain Maria Manda during a reception ceremony at Shapla Hall in the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital on Sunday. – PID PHOTO

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday accorded a reception to the country’s 88 sports-persons including the 33-member women’s U-19 football team, the 33-member men’s national football team and the 22-member physically challenged cricket team due to their feats in SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship 2021, Mujib Barsho FIFA International Football Series 2020 and Bangabandhu 4-Nation Physically Challenged Cricket Tournament 2022 respectively.

The Prime Minister provided financial honorariums to these 88 sports personalities during the reception ceremony held at Shapla Hall in the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital. The players were awarded Tk 5 lakh each while the officials were awarded Tk 2 lakh each.

The Prime Minister said her government would continue to support developing world-class athletes in the country’s sports arena.

Mentioning that her government introduced the Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Gold Cup at the primary school level, she emphasised on the arrangement of inter-college and inter-university competitions to pick players for the national teams. “I think inter-school and inter-college competitions should start soon. We’ll do everything necessary for this,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is constructing a mini-stadium in every upazila for the development of all types of sports. The construction works of mini-stadiums continue in 186 upazilas, she said.

She directed the Sports Ministry to come up with a fresh project to construct the mini-stadium in the remaining upazilas, adding “I don't want the delay (in construction of the mini-stadiums). I want the mini-stadiums ready in 493 Upazilas.”

The premier noted that it is essential to put more emphasis on the country’s rural sports.

To this end, she mentioned that her government has already recognized the Bangladesh Country Games Association for putting more emphasis on the promotion and dissemination of rural sports. The Prime Minister urged the industrialists and businessmen to come forward in helping the players and thus promote sports.

Emphasizing the cooperation of the private sector, the Prime Minister said, “The more we cooperate, the more it will bring excellence. We have to give the opportunity of livelihood to those who will bring honor to the country through playing. That's what I believe.”

She added, “Players will only play sports and when there are more clubs in the country, more competitions will be there, more excellence will be in sports. We have to create such an environment.”

Referring to the various achievements brought by the physically challenged players for the country in the field of sports, she said, “Although the physically challenged persons were once considered a burden, today they have proved that they can bring honor to the country if they get the opportunity. They have proved that they are our asset.”

Regarding the reception, Sheikh Hasina said, it is always a pleasure to give a reception to the prominent players, but the current situation is a bit unusual due to the flood situation and Covid-19 pandemic. Mentioning that flood is a regular phenomenon in the country, she said, "We will deal with the flood and we will also continue sports. Everything will go on. This is our life, we have to accept it."

“In Bangladesh, we will have to move forward coping with its natural environment,” she said.

“So, we'll continue the activities to ensure normal life alongside facing the natural disasters,” she added, referring to the fact that Bangladesh successfully hosted the Mini World Cup (The 1998 ICC Champions Trophy) during the 1998 flood.

SAFF-2021 Champion Women U-19 National Football Team's Captain Maria Manda, player Monika Chakma and chief trainer Golam Rabbani Choton, Bangladesh Physically Challenged Cricket Team Captain Faisal Khan and Bangladesh National Football Team Captain Jamal Bhuyan received a cheque of financial honorariums from the hand of the prime minister.

At the outset of the function, a video documentary on the three categories of sports teams was screened.

 State Minister for Youth and Sports Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel, Bangladesh Football Federation President Kazi Md. Salahuddin, Women U-19 National Football Team Captain Maria Manda and Bangladesh Physically Challenged Cricket Team Captain Faisal Khan also spoke.

Additional secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Nazrul Islam delivered the welcome address.