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Sports Ministry to get a tremendous uplift in 2018

Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera allocated Rs. 3, 450 million to develop the country’s sports sector through his maiden budget last week.

Sports have the twin impact of building a sense of social cohesion and social capital whilst ensuring that the country achieve recognition in the international arena. In this context, Minister Samaraweera read out a series of proposals to develop the country’s sports activities in the Budget 2018.

In his budget speech the Minister said, the government plans to popularize community sports and will support this initiative by developing 100 rural playgrounds throughout the country.

He said the Talent Identification program has enabled to create pools of talent of budding young athletes at District and Provincial levels, thus, becoming the main feeding point into the National Pool.

“As such, to promote sports at the District and Provincial levels, we plan to uplift the District and Provincial sports stadiums. As such, initially, the Digana sports stadium, the Polonnaruwa District stadium and the Sandankeni sports stadium in Kalmunai will be developed during the next two years.

The Matale Hockey Ground, which is in a dilapidated state, will be rehabilitated.”

Sri Lanka has the honour of hosting the South Asia Games (SAG) in 2020. The Diyagama International Sports Complex, where the SAG games are planned to be held, will be upgraded and expanded which will include the re-laying of the tracks, development of an athletic village, an entertainment area and a muscular skeletal surgery unit.

“We will also establish a Sports School and an Academy at Diyagama which will be the training ground for the majority of our national level athletes.”

The Sugathadasa Indoor

Stadium will be modernized and managed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP). It is expected that this will attract international sports competitions and entertainment events, he said.

“The pavilion and the tracks at the Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium will also be upgraded to international standards.

“The Human Performance laboratory will be equipped with state of the art facilities.

The issue of performance enhancing drugs has permeated into the country’s sports arena, as well. This is quite shameful. As such, we will support the implementation of a national awareness programme on anti-doping and the establishment of a drug testing and research laboratory.”

Minister Samaraweera also paid attention to the underprivileged youngsters from the provinces. “I understand that the cost of sports shoes has become a major impediment in attracting our village youth into competitive sports. Therefore, I wish to propose that the para-tariffs imposed on import of sports shoes be removed.”

He said the government will also support the veterans and the differently abled who represent the country in international sports competitions such as the Asian Masters Championships and Paralympics. 

Posted on 2017-11-12 23:37:24
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Nov 25
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Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

Yes No

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews


Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.


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