Centre for Research and Information’s (CRI)’s youth platform, Young Bangla, held its latest instalment of “Let’s Talk” – an interdisciplinary discussion between policymakers and university students – in Chattogram city on October 23, 2022.
This session focused on ‘Sports for All’, where policymakers and young leaders discussed and shared their views on abovementioned topic with around 360 participants at Premier University Bangladesh in port city, according to a press release.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP and ex-President of Bangladesh Cricket Board and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Sayeda Zakia Noor Lipi, MP, from Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare; Krishna Rani Sarker, footballer of Bangladesh Women’s National Football Team; and Santwana Rani Ray, Founder of Lalmonirhar Taekwon-Do Association (LTA) and Joy Bangla Youth Awardee, answered questions from the participating students, as well as took part in a discussion in “Let’s Talk” on ‘Sports for All’. The event was moderated by Israt Jahan Noor Eva.
Vice Chancellor and Ekushe Padak recipient, prominent scholar, sociologist and sports enthusiast Dr. Anupam Sen gave the welcome speech, thanking CRI and Young Bangla for such innovative initiative on his campus. He expected that his students will understand the value of healthy upbringing to build a more creative, humane nation.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP emphasized on ensuring the possibilities of positive outcome in different sports as well as private and public sector involvement in sports development at the root-level. He also expected that CRI will carry the words and questions of the students to the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
‘’We often lack the right questions and right issues to discuss in our standing committee. Today, all of you have asked the right questions. We should not hold an elitist mindset when it comes to sports. Sports is all about equal opportunity on the playground,” he noted.
He also shared his thoughts of developing primary-level coaches and health instructors so that they can contribute at the primary level. In addition, he mentioned the chance of re-skilling and upskilling the retired players and develop coaching skills in them to enhance manpower.
Sayeda Zakia Noor Lipi, MP talked on the challenges of female players as she hoped the international recognitions will make it easier for women to participate in sports more often. She also mentioned the added 10 crore funding to Bangladesh Women’s Sports Association solely for training and development.
“The government is already ensuring funds for retired players. In this, private and local sponsorships can also make their contribution. I would also want the policymakers to add CSR (corporate social responsibility) to this,” she said.
Bangladesh Women’s National Football Team player Krishna Rani Sarker talked about her journey as a professional football player. She felt fortunate that her family, school authority and local community helped her with continuous support. Krishna Rani added that continuous short-term and long-term trainings helped the team physically and mentally to compete at the international level.
‘’As we have won the SAFF Championship, I would like to keep this trophy in Bangladesh for several years. Besides competing at the Asian Games and AFC Women’s Asian Cup, my dream is to play for FIFA as well,” she hoped.
Combat sports specialist Santwana Rani Ray talked on the role and responsibility of local and national media in talent hunting at the root-level. She shared with joy that in recent years, Bangladesh government has implemented three primary and high school level combat sports in their physical development curriculum such as rugby, archery and Taekwon-do.
‘’We have seen much more interest of female participants in combat sports. My sole aim is to give them proper training and facility at root-level.’’
The event was participatory and informative as the students were enthusiastic to participate in such innovative policy discussion event.