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Our aim is to produce athletes who could win medals, says Sports Minister Namal

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“Our aim is to produce athletes who could win medals at International level and the National Paralympic Committee has set an example to all said Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa.

The Minister said this at the Paralympic athletes felicitation ceremony held at the Sports Ministry yesterday.

“We wanted to make athletes to achieve victories at International level and our first task is to make a society with active children and then find athletes to go forward. The Sports Ministry has already made plans through the National Sports Council to focus until the year 2032.

The short term, mid term and long term plans are included in this programme. We knew most of the times we make plans just before the International events and players and officials are always in a hurry to prepare before the event and we want to change this system”.

“National Paralympic Committee (NPC) made their plans 3-4 years before and they obtained successful results at the recently concluded Paralympic Games in Tokyo. They sent a good message to all other Sports Bodies. NPC had a clear vision and they worked hard to obtain results with a good plan.

Finally eight Paralympians from the nine member team were able to finish among the first 16 in the world and won a gold medal with a world record from Dinesh Priyantha and a bronze medal from Samithas Dulan.

The National Sports Council already made their plans until year 2032 for all sports. Our aim is always to focus on International victories.”

“The sports Ministry always focused on athletes training and their facilities and this is our main responsibility. During this period Discipline on and off the field is more important than victories”.

The athletes are going on tours but I don’t like to use the word “tours” and that must be competition. Most of the athletes and officials are going on tours and they do not focus on competitions. Sometimes they forget their event and few of them do not return to the country and we had this bad experience recently. Today National Sports Council, Sport Ministry Secretary, Director General of Sports are very concerned about these tours before giving the recommendations. Some time our decisions are criticized but all those are done to protect our country’s image.

“The Sports Ministry is not a Welfare Ministry. Our aim is to produce players to get victories. We wanted to create an active society and Sports Ministry is the main centre for this concluded the Sports Minister.

“Dinesh Priyantha Herath the Paralympic gold medal winner received 50 million rupees plus ten million rupees from Sri Lanka Cricket while bronze medal winner Samitha Dulan received 20 million rupees while Maduranga Subasinghe, Kumudu Priyanka, Sampath Hettiarachchi, Palithas Bandara and their coaches also received cash awards at this felicitation ceremony.

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