Students of different institutions under SOA Deemed to be University will be competing in more than a dozen events over a period of 26 days for the SOA Cup which kicked off in the university campus here on Wednesday.

            The events in which the students will take part include Football (only boys), Cricket, Volleyball (only boys), Basketball, Lawn Tennis, Kho Kho (only boys), Throwball (only girls), Table Tennis, Softball, Chess and Kabaddi. A separate competition for the best physique for boys will be held as well. Kho Kho has been introduced for the first time this year.

            Mr. Siba Mohanty, Resident Editor of the New Indian Express in Bhubaneswar, graced the inaugural function of the SOA Cup as the special guest.

            Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mohanty said sports needed a big push in India where only 5.7 per cent of the 140 crore population were sports literate while about 10 million youngsters pursued only badminton in China. However, sport was looking up in India as the recent performance of the country’s contingent in the Olympics indicated.

            Odisha was also investing in sports providing a boost to different games, he said.

            Abinash Tripathy, a state-level table tennis player, took the oath on behalf of the partipants.

            The institutions participating in the annual fiesta included Institute of Technical Education and Research, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Institute of Dental Sciences, SUM Nursing College, Institute of Business and Computer Studies, School of Hotel Management, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, SOA National Institute of Law, Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Institute of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Students of the Institute of Higher Secondary Education, the Plus Two Science College run by SOA, are participating in a few disciplines for the first time this year.             The inaugural program was attended by SOA’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Bijay Kumar Sahu, Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Pradipta Kumar Nanda, Pro-Vice Chancellor cum Registrar Prof. Bibhuti Bhushan Pradhan and Dean (Students’ Welfare) Prof. Jyoti Ranjan Das. Ms. Sunita Barma, Sports Officer, proposed the vote of thanks.