Marking a fresh beginning to the year, the Ministry of Sports re-instated its defunct sports calendar with the launch of the 2017 calendar and the sporting vision to make this year a memorable one for sport in Sri Lanka.
The sports calendar that was launched today in the presence of the Hon. Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara was a result of a long-standing effort put forward by the Director-General of Sports and his team who had been working tirelessly to enlist all sporting agendas from the 61 sporting bodies in the country and bridging their differences to plan a methodical year.
Speaking at the press briefing held to announce the launch of the calendar, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara expressed these views.
“I applaud the effort taken by the ministry officials in getting the sporting calendar. We have methodically arranged all the sporting events both internationally and locally so that it will motivate the athletes and coaches to plan accordingly”
The publication that was presented, had the breakdown of the country’s entire agenda for the year, ranging from the school arena to the international events.
Addressing the media and the sporting officials for the new year, he gave an insight on what is set to come.
“I have instructed all sporting bodies to formulate three squads by the end of the month. That is the probable Olympic squad, Asian games squad and the national squad”
“We can’t compete in the Olympic with three months of preparation”
With three years to go for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Sri Lanka’s chances in the competition will rely entirely on the coming three years and the ministry has understood the need for specific squads to train accordingly to achieve a greater feat at the Games in Japan.
Life Insurance for Athletes
For the first time in sporting history, the Ministry of Sports is expecting to implement a life insurance policy for all the national level athletes with a vision to protect and preserve talents of the country.
However, the minister showed his discontent as only a handful of sporting bodies have submitted information regarding the national level athletes to iin this regard.
“It is disappointing to see only 5-6 bodies have submitted the information. If the information doesn’t come, there will be a huge crisis.”
“Especially for a body like a rugby where injury concerns are prime, I am surprised to see this that this body failed to provide us with the information”
The ministry also felicitated the top achievers from last year and distributed cash awards amounting to almost 10 million rupees to the athletes. The teams that were felicitated were the world championship winning Carrom team, the Commonwealth Weightlifting team and the Powerlifting team.