Bangladesh may not be a country that immediately comes to mind when you think of athletic prowess, but in recent years, this nation has been making waves on the world stage. From humble beginnings as underdogs in various sports, Bangladesh’s athletes have surged forward, defying expectations and winning hearts around the globe. This is the inspiring story of how a nation once known for its poverty and political instability is now making a name for itself in the world of sports.

From cricket to football, swimming to archery, Bangladesh’s athletes are proving that with hard work, determination, and a never-give-up attitude, anything is possible. So let’s take a closer look at how Bangladesh’s athletic glory has risen to the top, and why their journey is one that inspires us all to reach for our dreams.


The History of Athletics in Bangladesh


Athletics has a long and storied history in Bangladesh, dating back to the country’s colonial past as a part of British India. The sport was initially introduced by British officials who organized track and field events for the locals. However, in the early 1950s, athletics started to gain popularity in the country, thanks to the efforts of the Bangladesh Amateur Athletics Federation. It was established in 1948 and has been Bangladesh’s athletic governing body ever since.

Over the years, athletics in Bangladesh has gone through many ups and downs. In the 1970s and 1980s, the country experienced a golden age of athletics, with several athletes winning medals at regional and international events.

However, the sport started to decline in the 1990s due to a lack of resources and support. In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in athletics, with more and more young athletes taking up the sport and achieving success at the national and international levels.

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Key Figures in Bangladesh Athletics

Several individuals have played a significant role in the growth and development of athletics in Bangladesh over the years. One of the most notable figures is Dr. Mahbubur Rahman, who served as the president of the BAAA from 1981 to 2001. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of several new athletics facilities across the country and helped to establish a training program for young athletes.

Another key figure is Abdullah Hel Baki, a former long-distance runner who won several medals for Bangladesh at international events in the 1980s and 1990s. Baki has since retired from competition but remains involved in athletics as a coach and mentor for young athletes.

The Challenges Faced by Bangladesh Athletes


Despite the recent successes of Bangladesh’s athletics scene, the sport still faces many challenges. One of the biggest obstacles is the need for more resources and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. In addition, many young athletes need access to proper training facilities or equipment, making it difficult to develop their skills and reach their full potential.

Another challenge is the need for more financial support for athletes. Unlike in some other countries, where top athletes can earn a living from sponsorships and prize money, most Bangladeshi athletes have to rely on government funding or other sources of income to support themselves and their families.

Recent Successes in Bangladesh Athletics

Despite these challenges, Bangladesh’s athletes have achieved some remarkable successes in recent years. In 2019, Mohammad Jahir Raihan became the first Bangladeshi athlete to win a gold medal at the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal. Raihan won the men’s 100-meter sprint with a time of 10.33 seconds, setting a new national record in the process.

Other notable performances by Bangladeshi athletes include Sumi Akter’s gold medal in the women’s 200-meter race at the 2019 South Asian Games and Mohammad Al Amin’s bronze medal in the men’s 10,000-meter race at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Role of Government and Private Organizations in Supporting Athletes


To help address some of the challenges facing athletes in Bangladesh, the government and private organizations have taken steps to support the sport. For example, the government has invested in constructing new athletics facilities nationwide and allocated funds to support training programs for young athletes.

Private organizations have also played a significant role, with several companies sponsoring individual athletes or providing financial support to athletics clubs and organizations. One example is the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP), a government-run sports institute that provides training and education to talented young athletes nationwide. The BKSP has helped to produce many of Bangladesh’s top athletes, including Mohammad Jahir Raihan and Sumi Akter.

Future Prospects for Bangladesh Athletics

There is reason to be optimistic about the future of athletics in Bangladesh. With the support of the government and private organizations, more and more young athletes are taking up the sport and achieving success at the national and international levels.

There is also a growing interest in athletics among the general public, with more people attending events and following the achievements of Bangladeshi athletes.

However, much work must be done to ensure that athletics can continue to grow and thrive in Bangladesh. The government and private organizations must continue to invest in infrastructure and training programs while providing financial support to athletes.

At the same time, there is a need to raise awareness of the sport and encourage more young people to take up athletics as a career.

Inspiring Stories of Bangladesh Athletes


The rise of athletics in Bangladesh has been accompanied by several inspiring stories of individual athletes who have overcome adversity to achieve success. One such athlete is Shirin Akter, a young sprinter from a small village in northern Bangladesh.

Despite financial difficulties and a lack of proper training facilities, Akter has become one of the country’s top sprinters, winning several medals at national and international events.

Another inspiring story is that of Abdullah Hel Baki, the former long-distance runner mentioned earlier. Baki grew up in a poor family and overcame numerous obstacles to become a successful athlete. However, despite financial difficulties and a lack of support, Baki won several medals for Bangladesh at international events and has become a coach and mentor for young athletes.

The Importance of Athletics in Bangladesh Society


Athletics plays a vital role in Bangladesh society, not just as a sport but as a means of social and cultural expression. The sport has helped to bring people from different backgrounds and regions together, promoting national unity and pride.

Athletics is also seen as a way for young people to improve their prospects and achieve success in life. Many of Bangladesh’s top athletes come from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds but have overcome these obstacles through hard work and dedication to their sport.


In conclusion, the inspiring story of Bangladesh’s rising athletics scene is a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and a never-say-die attitude. Despite facing numerous challenges, from limited resources and infrastructure to financial difficulties, Bangladesh’s athletes have shown remarkable resilience and determination in pursuing their dreams.

With the support of the government and private organizations, more and more young athletes are taking up the sport and achieving success at the national and international levels. As athletics grows and thrives in Bangladesh, it will produce more inspiring stories of individual athletes who have overcome adversity to achieve greatness.