Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged youths to engage in more sports and cultural activities alongside their studies to be more patriotic.
"Sports provide the mental strength for development and helps make life prosperous. Hence, we are expanding sports facilities in the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan (BKSP) and physical education colleges. We have undertaken initiatives to set up BKSP in all the divisions,” she said at the inauguration ceremony of Bangladesh Youth Games 2018.
Sheikh Hasina elaborated the many steps of the government for the development of country's sports and games, saying many stadiums, including Bangabandhu National Stadium, Mirpur Sher-e Bangla National Stadium, Chittagong Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, were renovated.
She mentioned that Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium has been constructed at Cox's Bazar and almost all stadiums, swimming pools, gymnasiums and sport complexes have been repaired and reconstructed.
In addition, stadiums and sports infrastructures have also been constructed up to the upazila level of the country to expand sporting opportunities, she said.
She also pointed out arranging the Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Gold Cup Football tournaments at primary school level across the country on a regular basis.
She highlighted successes of Bangladeshi players in various national and international events and said Bangladesh reached quarterfinals in the last World Cup Cricket, while the national team won ODIs against Pakistan, India and South Africa.
She proclaimed: "Bangladesh will win the World Cup one day.”
The prime minister highly praised the achievements of the female players, saying Bangladesh clinched the title of the SAF Under-15 Football Championship-2017, became regional champions in AFC Under-14 Football and runners-up in the Women Football Championship held in India recently.
She noted that the young stars are the architect of building a developed Bangladesh free from terrorism and militancy. The prime minister vowed to establish the country as a middle income one by 2021 and a hunger and poverty-free prosperous nation by 2041.
"We are a victorious nation. We will never bow down, we will keep moving forward with our heads held high," she said.
Mentioning that her and her family's love for games and sports, the prime minister said the Father of the Nation was a sports-lover and he played numerous football matches in the school life.
"My brothers - Shaheed Captain Sheikh Kamal and Shaheed Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal - played football, hockey, volleyball and basketball and were also involved in sports organizations," she said.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Bangladesh Army Chief Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq were also present at the ceremony.