This pioneering move has demonstrated KIIT’s commitment to the promotion of sports and makes it the first university in the country to name the facilities after living legends of the sports world. The University has the distinction of having created the largest sporting infrastructure among all institutes. KIIT was conferred the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2022 for sustained focus towards development of sports by the Government of India.
“We have set an example for others by naming the sports facilities after the sporting legends. This is a historic occasion for all of us. No other place in this country has so many sporting facilities named after so many sportspersons,” the Founder of KIIT and KISS Dr. Achyuta Samanta said, expressing his gratitude to the CM for inaugurating the sporting facilities.
The new facilities include the Dilip Tirkey Hockey Stadium; Abhinav Bindra Indoor Shooting Range; Rahul Bose Rugby Stadium; Debasish Mohanty and Shiv Sundar Das Cricket Stand; Viswanathan Anand Chess Hall; Leander Paes Tennis Stadium; Dutee Chand Athletic Stadium; Amiya Mallick Athletic Stand; Shrabani Nanda Athletic Stand; Minati Mahapatra Cycling Velodrome; Pramod Bhagat Badminton Indoor Hall and Sradhanjali Samantaray Football Stadium.
Significantly, except Anand and Bindra, all the sportspersons were present when the Odisha CM inaugurated the facilities named after them. They hailed the efforts of Dr Samanta, saying his decision to name the sporting facilities after the sporting legends in a university is unique. Odisha Sports Secretary R. Vineel Krishna also was present on the occasion.
Leander Paes commended Dr Samanta for this initiative and for creating the sports facilities in the country including 25 tennis courts. He also said the CM is the biggest visionary of sports in the country.
Hockey legend Dilip Tirkey, who is currently the Hockey India President, said he will continue to cherish the warmth of Dr Samanta in naming the hockey stadium at the campus after him. He also hailed his support for players like Dutee Chand and others that have made them international sports stars today. Sports, he said, help a person become disciplined and a good human being.
Concurring with him, Rugby India President and actor Rahul Bose said sports not only transform youth into better persons but give the player the strength, the confidence and an opportunity to fight poverty and hunger. He cited a couple of stories to buttress his observations. He thanked Dr Samanta for naming the rugby stadium after him and expressed hope that the KIIT rugby team will one day win the Olympic medal.
“People say they go to heaven after death, but I feel I got my heaven in this life. It has become possible in KIIT due to the efforts of Dr. Achyuta Samanta, the Founder of KIIT & KISS. Stadiums are generally named posthumously after legends, but at KIIT, stadiums have been named after living legends. Never did I imagine that an athletic stadium would be named after me. Along with education, sports activities at KIIT and KISS are encouraged and given equal importance,” said ace sprinter Dutee Chand.
“KIIT & KISS are the only Universities in India with huge international-level sports infrastructures and facilities. It has been possible in KIIT due to the efforts of Dr. Achyuta Samanta, the Founder of KIIT & KISS, because of his passion for sports. Today Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha inaugurated sports facilities and stadiums named after Legends. I am grateful to Samanta Sir for placing me among the legends,” said athlete Srabani Nanda.