DHAKA- Expressing her firm optimism that Bangladesh would further advance in games and sports, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today assured that her government would do everything for its development.
"We want Bangladesh to progress further in games and sports where the boys and girls equally perform ... we would take measures to create more scopes in the field," she said.
The premier was distributing trophies and prizes among the winners of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Gold Cup Primary School Football Tournaments-2016 at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka this afternoon.
Sheikh Hasina also expressed the hope that boys and girls would be more patriotic by participating in games and sports on behalf of Bangladesh.
"We want that everybody would give attention to games and sports ... our aim is to go ahead in every field," she said.
In this connection, the prime minister urged the people of all strata, especially teachers, guardians, public representatives and well-off people to further spur the boys and girls in practising games and sports alongside study.
"You will have to take initiatives so that schools could get all kinds of support for the promotion of sports," she said.
Elaborating her government's measures for the development of sports, Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken a decision to build a "mini stadium" in every upazila.
"Not in the playgrounds of schools and colleges, the (mini) stadium would be constructed at separate places so that the practice of sports takes place there throughout the year," she said.
Mentioning that games and sports is essential for sound health and mind, the prime minister said Awami League government keeping this in mind is giving priority to games and sports.
"Games and sports teaches discipline, perseverance, responsibility, dutifulness and tolerance and accelerates flourishing culture," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is distributing sports materials to educational and sports institutions alongside arranging sports competitions. "We have increased financial grants for expansion of games and sports," she said.
The prime minister said Bangladeshi athletes are demonstrating their success in the national and international arenas. "Our girls clinched the regional championship title in the AFC under-14 football and became runners up in the women soccer championship held in India," she said.
At the outset of her speech, the premier paid tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib and said Bangladesh earned independence under the leadership of Bangabandhu.
"We are a victorious nation and we would move on the world stage by keeping our head high ... our boys and girls would demonstrate their quality and talents in all spheres," she said.
Congratulating all concerned for successfully arranging Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Gold Cup Football Tournaments-2016, Sheikh Hasina said nearly 21.84 lakh primary students took part in these tournaments.
"I think such a large scale tournament doesn't take place anywhere in the world. I congratulate all concerned for this success," she said.
Primary and Mass Education Minister Advocate Mostafizur Rahman spoke at the function, while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the ministry Motahar Hossain and ministry secretary Asifuzzaman were present on the dais.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Shikdar, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy, Bangladesh Football Federation President Kazi Salahuddin were present on the occasion.
Earlier, the prime minister witnessed the second half of the final of Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Gold Cup by sitting on the VIP Lounge of Bangabandhu Stadium.
Tepurgari BK Govt Primary School of Patgram, Lalmonirhat clinched the title of Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Gold Cup as they defeated Borobaria Govt Primary School of Charghat, Rajshahi by a solitary goal.
In the Bangabanadhu Gold Cup, Toitong Govt Primary School of Pekua, Cox's Bazar became champions defeating Kamrangi Govt Primary School of Jointapur, Sylhet 5-4 in the tiebreakers in the final. The regulation time of the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
West Amtali Govt Primary School of Amtali, Barguna and Babua Govt Primary School of Dhanbari, Tangail secured the third place respectively in Bangabanadhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Gold Cup Tournaments.
Abu Hanif Noman and Minaruddin Bullet of Tepurgari BK Govt Primary School of Patgram, Lalmonirhat were adjudged best player and highest scorer respectively in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup Tournament.
In the Bangamata Gold Cup Tournament, Mitu Aktar of Tepurgari BK Govt Primary School of Patgram, Lalmonirhat was declared the best player, while Ruma Aktar of Babua Govt Primary School of Dhanbari, Tangail became the highest scorer.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)