Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday invited Bisheswar Nandi, coach of gymnast Dipa Karmakar to set up a gymnastics academy in Bengal, on the sidelines of ‘Khel Samman’ award ceremony at Netaji Indoor Stadium.
The CM honoured sporting legends on the occasion. She conferred Khel Samman on 13 sportspersons, Banglar Gourab Samman on 15 sportspersons, Krira Guru Samman on 5 coaches. Samar Banerjee and Naresh Kumar were honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Atanu Das, Soumyajit Ghosh, Mouma Das and Debasree Majumder were honoured with ‘Bishesh Samman’ and Dipa Karmakar was felicitated with ‘Ananya Samman’. The CM also distributed financial aid to 4000 new and 8653 old clubs for developing their sports infrastructure. This programme, launched in 2011-12 is aimed at developing sporting talent in the State.
The CM lashed out at demonetisation again and pointed out that the move has adversely affected sponsorship of sports, but said that the government will always stand by the sports 0persons. She also announced that 13 clubs will get Rs 50 lakh from the state sports department for development of sports.
Enlisting her government’s achievements in building sports infrastructure, she said, “We have built 16 new stadiums, refurbished 46 and built 23 youth hostels.” She also said that she will compose a theme song for the sports department, and emphasised that there is need for one since it will foster identity and as sense of pride.