Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday underscored creating opportunities for sports, exercise and cultural activities for everyone saying these are inevitable elements for building a nation.
"Sports, exercise and cultural activities are inevitable for a nation," she said while addressing a programme to hand over National Sports Award 2013-2021 virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned to encourage both children and adults to take part in these activities and create scope for their involvement.
"By this, our children will become good human beings and worthy citizens of the country. Their mind will be fresh, they will not go on the wrong path. That is my belief," she said.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel and secretary of the ministry Mesbah Uddin also spoke at the programme.
Some 85 players and organisers got prestigious awards for their outstanding contributions in the sports arena of the country.
Each recipient got a gold medal, Tk1 lakh cheque and a certificate.
On behalf of the PM, the state minister distributed the awards among the recipients.
A documentary on the development of sports in the country was screened at the programme held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka.
The premier put emphasis on reviving the rural games and sports as the country has a vast heritage in this field.
"For these sports huge amount of money is not needed. The authorities can arrange inter-school, inter-college or inter-university competitions and this has to be done," she said.
The premier mentioned that her government will extend all support for further development of the country's games and sports.
Sheikh Hasina regretted that open space for sports in Dhaka city is very negligible.
"The government has taken some steps so that every area has at least a playground," she said.
She requested parents and guardians to spare their children some free time so they can go out to play in the field staying away from devices which are making them dull and lazy.
"Whenever we find any open space we are creating a playground there," she said.
She asked the relevant authorities to pay special attention to the special needs children as they always bring the highest honour for the country.
In this regard, she said that the government has started to prepare a separate playground for them just beside the National Parliament.
"The work has begun. We are setting up an academy for them," she said.
Expressing displeasure over the slow progress of building mini stadiums in every upazila, she asked the authorities to complete those quickly.
She said that so far construction of mini stadiums at 186 upazilas has started while preparations have been taken to build mini stadiums in another 171 upazilas.
"Enough time has been taken. You [concerned authorities] have to look after this," she added.