Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday laid emphasis on promotion of native sports in a larger way to increase engagement of young generation in extracurricular activities, saying sports and physical exercises boost up self-confidence and senses of responsibility to the country.
“Local sports should be given more importance so that those can be practiced more . . . I want our children to remain engaged in sports, physical exercises and cultural activities apart from study,” she said.
The premier was addressing the concluding ceremony of Sheikh Hasina Inter-Bank Football Tournament-2023 at Bangladesh Army Stadium in the city’s Banani area.
She said, “Sports, physical exercises and cultural practices boost up self-confidence, love for the country and the senses of dutifulness and responsibility to the country, alongside making the people happy.”
Sheikh Hasina said her government is constructing (upazila) mini-stadiums throughout the country so that various sports can be played there round-the-year.
She said the government will take steps to construct a stadium for football and other sports in Purbachal on the outskirts of the capital.
“Now, a stadium is being constructed in Purbachal for cricket. We’ll take steps so that another stadium is constructed nearby it for other sports, including football,” she said.
Earlier, she enjoyed the second half of the final match at the stadium. Union Bank clinched the title of the first-ever tournament beating Al-Arafah Islami Bank with 2-1 score in the grand finale.
The Prime Minister distributed the trophies and prize money among the champion team and the runner-up team.
The champion team was awarded Taka 50 lakh as prize money, while the runner-up team Taka 40 lakh. Besides, Global Islami Bank received Taka 30 lakh while Social Islami Bank Taka 20 lakh as they secured third and fourth places respectively.
The first-ever “Sheikh Hasina Inter-Bank Football Tournament 2023” kicked off on May 13 with participation of a total of 34 bank teams, which was organised by Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) in collaboration with Bangladesh Army Sports Control Board.
Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman and State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel were present in the concluding ceremony.
Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed spoke on the occasion, while BAB Chairman Nazrul Islam Mazumder delivered the welcome speech.