9th Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games to begin Apr 1

Dhaka – The 9th version of the country’s biggest multi-sports event, Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games, named after Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, will begin on April 1.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to inaugurate the 10-day mega sports festival through a gala opening ceremony to be organised by Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) under the financial support of finance and youth and sports ministries at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.

Some 10,600 sportsmen from all over the country will compete in 31 disciplines of sports for 396 gold medals. The games will be held in 23 venues across the country — 20 in Dhaka and rest three in Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet and Tongi.

BOA Secretary General Syed Shaheed Reza disclosed the details of the games at a conference at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka Cantonment on Thursday.

BOA Vice-president and Chairman of the games steering committee Sheikh Bashir Ahmad (Mamun) also spoke on the occasion where BOA Deputy Secretaries General Ashikur Rahman Miku and Asaduzzaman Kohinoor and Treasurer Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol were present.

The BOA also unveiled the logo and mascot of the 9th Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games at the function.

The logo reflected smiling face of the Father of the Nation as well as gender equality in sports. In the games mascot, BOA chooses a pigeon, which is holding the games torch.

Addressing the pressman, Syed Shaheed Reza said, “This games is very special for us because we named it after Bangabandhu on the occasion of his birth centenary. Our aim is to spread the ethics and values of Bangabandhu among our athletes, because they are real ambassadors of the country.”

“This is the biggest sports meet of the country through which we’ll hunt some talented athletes to groom them for the international meet,” he added.

It was learned that BOA will get Tk 38 crore from the government to arrange the games, but the BOA secretary general said, “We haven’t received any money yet although the Finance and Youth and Sports ministries assured us in this regard.”

The games torch relay will start from Tongipara of Gopalganj, the birthplace of Bangabandhu, on April 1 and will reach the games venue in Dhaka on the same day.

However, BOA is yet to finalise who will bear the torch.

“We’ve made a shortlist of legendary athletes to carry the torch and we’ll finalise the list in the next meeting on March 10,” said BOA Vice-president Sheikh Bashir Ahmed.

The last edition of the Bangladesh Games introduced in the country in 1978 was held in 2013.

Meanwhile, the BOA has almost finalised the games schedule and venues.

As per schedule, Archery (April 3-6) will be held at Shaheed Ahsanullah Master Stadium in Tongi, Athletics (April 2-4) and Men’s Football (March 24 to April 9) at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Basketball (April 2-8) at Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium/BKSP, Badminton (March 29 -April 3) and Table Tennis (April 4-6) at Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Indoor Stadium, Bodybuilding (April 5-8) at National Sports Council Auditorium, Boxing (April 5-10) at Mohammad Ali Boxing Stadium, Chess (March 27 to April 4) at National Sports Council Chess Room, Men’s Cricket (April 1-10) at Sylhet Divisional Stadium and Women’s Cricket (April 1-10) at Cox’s Bazar Stadium, Fencing (April 7-10), Volleyball (March 29-April 3), Judo (April 7-10) and Karate (April 4-6) all at Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur, Golf (April 6-9) at Kurmitola Golf Club, Gymnastics (March 31 to April 2), Taekwondo ( April 3 to 6) and Weightlifting (April 7-10) at National Sports Council Gymnasium, Handball (April 4-10) and Wushu (March 30 to April 3) at Shaheed (Capt) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium, Hockey (March 25-April 9) at Maulana Bhashani National Stadium, Kabaddi (April 2-9) and Kho Kho (April 2-7) at Paltan Maidan, Rowing (April 6-9) at Hatirjheel, Rugby (April 2-4) at Physical Education College, Mohammadpur, Roller Skating (April 2-9) and Wrestling (April 2-4) at Sheikh Russel Roller Skating Complex, Swimming (April 4-9) at Syed Nazrul Islam Swimming Complex, Shooting (April 1-9) at Gulshan Shooting Complex and BKSP and Tennis (April 1-10 ) at National Tennis Complex. UNB