Emphasizing on the mental and physical development of children and adolescents, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged to have playgrounds in every part of the country.
“Our children, now living in all the flats, are becoming like farm chickens,” he said. They are reading all the time with mobile phones, laptops and iPads. It is not really a sign of the child’s mental and physical well-being.
He said this while addressing as the chief guest at the distribution ceremony of ‘National Sports Award 2013-2021’ at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday (May 11) morning.
Sheikh Hasina said children and adolescents get the opportunity to develop physically and mentally through sports and running.
Highlighting the importance of sports, he said, “I believe that sports, sports have a special contribution to make in building a nation.” … Our children will also improve physically and mentally through sports and exercise.
The Prime Minister said we should be more proactive about sports. The most unfortunate thing is that there is less space for sports in Dhaka city. In the meantime, we have taken some initiatives to have playgrounds in each area. Wherever there is space, we turn it into a playground.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that a mini stadium would be set up in every upazila of the country outside the capital.
The Prime Minister said Sheikh Russell Mini Stadiums have been constructed in 125 upazilas of the country in the first phase for the development of sports facilities at the grassroots level. In the second phase, construction work is going on in 16 more upazilas. In the third phase, necessary activities are being taken for the construction of this mini stadium in the remaining 161 upazilas.
Sheikh Hasina also directed to complete the construction of mini stadiums in each upazila as soon as possible.
Addressing the parents and guardians of the child, Sheikh Hasina said, “At least I will request the parents and guardians to give the children a chance to play by throwing their arms and legs, even if only for some time.” We have taken initiative to have playgrounds in each area.
Highlighting the interest in sports of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other members of Mujib’s family, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu’s favorite sport was football. In his unfinished autobiography, he wrote, “People enjoyed Abba’s team and my team when they played. Our school team was very good. I would bring in the best players in the sub-division and admit them and pay them free of cost. ”
Many indigenous games are now on the verge of extinction. Calling for a return to good times in these games, the Prime Minister said, “There are many games in the rural areas of our country.” Some of these rural games have been introduced. These need to be fully operational. It doesn’t cost much to turn them on. They will play by themselves, inter-school competitions, inter-college competitions, inter-university competitions will have to be organized. We are cooperating enough in this regard. In this case, we are giving whatever is needed.
Highlighting the various steps and successes taken by the government in the development of sports, he said the Awami League government has been making tremendous progress in the field of sports since 2009, following in the footsteps of the father of the nation. From 2009 to 2021, the success rate of Bangladesh in sports is increasing. During this time our national teams have competed in various sports disciplines in international and regional sports competitions and have won a total of 463 gold, 464 silver, 547 bronze medals and 96 times champions, 23 times runners up and 21 times third place.
Highlighting the achievements of regular as well as autistic and physically challenged players, Sheikh Hasina said that the autistic and physically challenged players are also showing good skills. They are doing better than healthy people in some cases.
Under the auspices of the government, autistic and physically challenged athletes have won 218 gold, 109 silver and 64 bronze medals at various times in the Special Olympics. In the ‘Bangabandhu Four-Nations Physically Challenged Twenty20 Cricket Tournament’ held in Cox’s Bazar in March this year, Bangladesh defeated India by 9 wickets to become the undefeated champions.
At the event, 75 talented players and sports organizers were given National Sports Awards from 2013 to 2020. State Minister for Youth and Sports on behalf of the Prime Minister at the beginning of the program. Zahid Ahsan Russell handed over the National Sports Award to 6 award winners. Later, prizes were handed over to 6 more winners (virtually) in the presence of the Prime Minister.
Each of the awardees will receive a 16 carat gold medal weighing 25 grams, a check for Rs 100,000 and a certificate.