PM rewards sports celebrities
Ganabhaban, the official residence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was abuzz with a huge number of sports celebrities last night as the premier honoured them through a gala reception.
On the occasion of Bangla Nababarsha 1424, the prime minister accorded the reception to the country's leading athletes who brought laurels for the nation at international level over the past six months.
As many as 339 athletes, coaches and officials attended the over one-hour long programme.
The prime minister first handed over keys of apartments to the three 2016 South Asian Games gold medallists -- swimmer Mahfuza Khatun Shila, weightlifter Mabia Akter Simanta and shooter Shakil Ahmed.
She later handed over medals and cheques to the players of Bangladesh women's cricket team, men's cricket team, women's football team, under-14 football team, deaf cricket team, special Winter Olympics team, men's and women's archery teams, roll-ball skating team, men's and women's handball teams, national hockey team, national shooting team, weightlifting team, volleyball team and junior women's badminton team.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, captain of the ODI and T20 teams, received Tk one crore while Mushfiqur Rahim, skipper of the Test team, received the same amount from the premier.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) gave the money to the cricket team for their stunning performance against Sri Lanka recently.
The prime minister also handed over Tk one crore each to Bangladesh Hockey Federation and Bangladesh Swimming Federation. The BCB had recently pledged to give the money as donations to the two federations.
She also gave Tk 10 lakh to Bangladesh under-16 women's football team, who became champions in the AFC women's championship qualifiers in Dhaka in August last year. The BCB provided for this donation too.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister congratulated the players and officials of Bangladesh teams and said that the government does everything necessary for the development of sports and games in the country.
Giving emphasis on practising sports and games alongside education, Sheikh Hasina called upon the well-off of the society to supplement the government's efforts for promotion of sports and games.