Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File photo/BSS
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File photo/BSS
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today hoped to see Bangladeshi boys and girls at the World Cup as she addressed the closing and awards ceremony of the 2022 Inter-University Sports Championship in Bangabandhu.
About holding nationwide school, inter-college and inter-university athletic competitions, she said children are now thriving through the competitions.
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“Our boys and girls will continue to grow through competition – I think we can continue to make progress in sport on the world stage by competing,” she added.
The Prime Minister attended the program organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports at the Bangladesh Army Stadium in Dhaka.
“The World Cup football competition is happening but we don’t have an existence there that has harmed us. If I get the reach, I’ll watch it while also thinking about when our kids are going to play in the competition,” she said.
However, the Prime Minister expressed her hope that Bangladeshi boys and girls would one day take part in the tournament, saying that despite restrictions, her government has tried to create every opportunity to bring out the hidden talents of the boys and girls.
Referring to the success of women at the SAAR and Asian Games in both football and cricket, the Prime Minister said girls were doing very well on the international stage and hoped boys would do the same.
She said her government has already set up a district-level stadium and is now building a mini-stadium at each upazila across the country to create margins for holding competitions.
She said that since 2019, in addition to the sports competitions between schools and colleges, they have been organizing the Bangabandhu Inter-University Sports Championship.
The Prime Minister said her government has taken an initiative to set up BKSP in all eight divisions to properly train the athletes.
She said the government has prioritized training in the footsteps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as Bangabandhu sent Bangladeshi players to Germany, India and other countries for training.
The prime minister said her government took initiatives for the overall development of sport after taking office, as sport and competitions alongside cultural practices show youth to choose the right paths and avoid the paths of drugs, militancy and terrorism.
She said: “We don’t want drugs, militancy or terrorism. We believe in peace, development and progress. I know that government support for education, sports and cultural practices is always needed.”
She described Bangladeshi children as very talented children and said that given even a little leeway, they can make the impossible possible.
She described herself as a member of a sports-loving family as her grandfather Sheikh Lutfur Rahman, his younger brother and father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were footballers and two brothers – Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Kamal, sisters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Parvin Jamal were athletes.
As a sports-loving family, the Prime Minister said they would give any support they could to help the sport develop.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports organized the 3rd edition of the sports competition with about 6,950 participants, including 1,850 women from the country’s 125 public and private universities, in 12 events.
About 720 medals were distributed among the best players in the 12 events, including football, cricket, athletics, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and badminton, kabaddi and chess.
Daffodil International University was the winner of the 3rd edition of the competition while Dhaka University won the fair play award.
The joint best male athletes are Ashif Reza and Mahumudun Nabi from Uttara University and the best female athlete is Tamanna Akter from Islamic University (Kushta). They received gold medals from the Prime Minister.
Minister of State for Youth and Sport Zahid Ahsan Russel chaired the event, while Minister of State for Youth and Sport Mesbah Uddin gave the welcome speech.
Earlier, the Prime Minister enjoyed the second half of the women’s soccer final as Gono Bishwabidyalay and the American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) finished 3-1
Champion teams at various events include Daffodils University in men’s soccer, women’s handball, women’s volleyball and women’s kabaddi; Gono Bishwabidyalay in women’s soccer, men’s volleyball and men’s kabaddi; Islamic University in Men’s Handball and Men’s Basketball; North South University in women’s basketball; AIUB in men’s cricket and Jashore University of Science and Technology in women’s cricket.