Govt wants preparing athletes fit for participating Olympic Games: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government will arrange international level training for the country’s athletes to make them fit for taking part in the Olympic Games as she opened the 9th Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games, 2020.

“We will arrange international level training for our players after fixing some games as they can be capable enough to participate in the Olympic Games,” she said.

Opening virtually the extravaganza marking the “Mujib Borsho” coinciding with the golden jubilee of independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, from her official Ganabhaban residence here this evening, she hoped that all the athletes will show their competence in their respective disciplines alongside preparing themselves enough to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games.

The Prime Minister asked all concerned particularly the organizers to maintain health guidelines strictly in holding the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games so that none would be infected with the Covid-19.

“I hope you all are going to take part in 31 disciplines of the games and will follow the health guidelines accordingly. I don’t want anyone to be infected with the coronavirus,” she said, urging the organizers to give special focus on it.

A total of 5300 athletes will vie for the 1271 medals in 378 events of 31 disciplines in 29 venues across seven divisional cities and in the capital till April 10. The games will be hosted under full scale scrutiny of Covid-19.

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) has organized the grand opening ceremony at the Bagbabandhu National Stadium in the capital.

Sheikh Hasina, also chief patron of the BOA, said that the games were scheduled to be held in April last year, but the organizers postponed the game in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Premier thanked the BOA authorities as the torch of the 9th Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games was ignited at Tungipara, the birth place of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the place where he took rest forever. The torch later carried to the capital with a colourful motor rally.

State Minister for Ministry of Youth and Sports Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel, MP, and BOA President and Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed spoke on the occasion while its Secretary General Syed Shahed Reza gave the welcome address.

An audio-visual presentation on Bangladesh in sports was screened followed by playing the country’s national anthem on the occasion.

All the athletes later greeted the Prime Minister by waving their hands.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has been tirelessly working for the development of the sports alongside other sectors as a country needs to concentrate on every sector for ensuring its overall development.

Mentioning that sports are solely important for flourishing the mindset of the children and the youths, the Prime Minister said that the government is currently building a mini stadium at each upazila across the country to this end.

She said that her father and Father of the Nation Bangbabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was sincere about sports adding that her father, brothers, sisters-in-law loved playing.

But, the premier said that all the prospects of Bangladesh had been destroyed with the killing of Bangabandhu on August 15 in 1975.

Assuming office after 21 years, she said that her government has been trying to inspire the children and youths about sports and for this reason they have given importance to each of the sports including the local ones with a view that the children of the country get them involved in sports.

The Prime Minister however regretted for not being able to present at the venue to open the games due to the surge in the Covid-19 infection despite she likes to enjoy sports sitting at the stadium.

She hoped that the problems the country is now facing for the pandemic will go quickly.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)