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Sri Lanka enters new Sports Culture

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A discussion on Sports Culture, International victories, and the future of Sri Lankan sports was held at the Government Department of Government Information yesterday. The Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya (second from right), Victoria Lakshmi (Netball Federation Secretary), Sri Lanka Netball Captain Gayanjali Amarawansha, and Department of Government Information Assistant News Director Dr. Harsha B. Abeykoon (left) are seen in the picture.

After winning two Asian titles in Netball and Cricket on the same day Sri Lanka created a new Sports Culture said Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya in the discussion held at the Department of Government Information in Narahenpita yesterday.

Assistant News Director of the Department of Government Information Dr. Harsha Abeykoon conducted this discussion about Sports Culture, International victories, and future of the Sri Lanka Sports while Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya, Netball Federation President Victoria Lakshmi and Sri Lanka Netball captain Gayanjali Amarawansha took part in this event which was organised by the Department of Government Information.

The Sports Director further said that the search to recognise new raw talent in the respective sports and identification of the athletes’ potential and their commitment is the most important areas to look after for international victories.

“Especially, Sports Development Department headed by Director General Amal Edirisooriya has a big responsibility to develop these areas. Development of sports from Provincial level and District level have to focus more and Sports Ministry already allocated money (3000 million rupees) for this project while High-Performance Pool is very important to get good results”, said Sports Director General.

“Looking back to the last Commonwealth Games in Bermingham, Sri Lanka won four medals (one silver and three bronze).

Three out of four medalists came from the High-Performance Pool while 27 athletes were able to finish in the first eight places. Of the 27 athletes, there were 22 athletes from the High-Performance Pool which is the best example of the success of the High-Performance Pool conducted by the Sports Ministry under the guidance of the National Sports Council.

The Sports Ministry gave all facilities for the High-Performance Pool players and it has to continue once again. We knew netball players performed well. They had to train at the Bandaragama Sports Complex which was maintained by the Sports Ministry while the Ministry also provided two houses for players’ occupancy for the training. These facilities are also very useful for the winning team while the Sports Ministry and Netball Federation have good coordination to get success”, added Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya.

Meanwhile, Netball Federation President Victoria Lakshmi said that players’ commitment was very high to gain success.

“They played well while the Sports Ministry and the sponsors gave good support to the team. Now we have to go beyond and advance at Asian level. Focusing on the World Championship we have good plans. I knew winning a world title is not an easy task and for 2-3 years Sri Lanka could not reach that target. But we have to start from school level. We are going to launch a talent search programme to discover players from under 13 level. This will start on October 1 to mark World Children’s Day”, she added.

“We have to decide on the National coach and whether she will continue her services or an appointment of a new coach to prepare for the World Cup and it will be decided at the General Council meeting on October 8 at the Sports Ministry Auditorium”, President Lakshmi said.

“We also have to form a National Pool and appoint a new Selection Committee. All those appointments are done by the previous Administration Committee and we wanted to make good decisions once again. I knew Sri Lanka has good Netball history since its beginning in the 1930s continued very well over the years.

“The first school match between Colombo Ladies College and High School Kandy ended in a draw. That was why back in the 1950s, the Word Netball Congress was held in 1959 in Sri Lanka and I have the idea to get the World Netball Congress to be conducted once again in Sri Lanka. Many South Asian and Asian countries agreed to support us and our team already got the invitation to get one-month training from the Australia Club which is our Tharjani Shivalingam’s club in Melbourne.

Netball skipper Gayanjali Amarawansha said they had good preparation from last January while their team spirit was very high to get success. I already pointed out Netball players’ professionalism and to make a strong second-string team to get more success in Netball.

Friday, September 30, 2022 – 01:00

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