LSR Colombo Marathon 2017 : Organizers expect over 10,000 participants | Sunday Observer

LSR Colombo Marathon 2017 : Organizers expect over 10,000 participants

Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera addressing Mediamen. Also in the picture are from left Western Province Chief Minister, Isusuru Devapriya, CEO Sri Lankan Airlines, Suren Ratwatte. Picture by Rukmal Gamage
Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera addressing Mediamen. Also in the picture are from left Western Province Chief Minister, Isusuru Devapriya, CEO Sri Lankan Airlines, Suren Ratwatte. Picture by Rukmal Gamage

The 17th Annual LSR Colombo Marathon is scheduled to take place on Sunday 8th of October. For this year’s edition the organizers expect over 10,000 participants in all classes.

This number is calculated judging by the figure of past LSR Colombo Marathon. The last Marathon had over seven thousand five hundred athletes including participants from foreign countries. These details were disclosed at the Media briefing held at the Olympic House recently.

The Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera, Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya and Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Udaya Nanayakkara, CEO SriLankan Airlines Suren Ratwatte and SSP Indika Hapugoda representing the Police too were present at the media briefing.

Minister of Sports addressing the media said that his Ministry was proud to be a partner for an event which has shown that Sri Lanka is a place to visit even for sporting activities and also for its natural beauty .

This sort of event is also bound to promote tourism as well. Considering these facts I as the Sports minister last year decided to wholeheartedly support this mega event which also gives an opportunity to our athletes to compete with foreign athletes. By competing in events of this nature it also help our local athletes to improve their standards to compete at international level.

Minister further said that the head of Lanka Sport Reizen Thilak Weerasinghe has conducted the event for three years on his own, spending large sums of money for the event. His efforts had brought honor not only to him but also to the whole country. After a period of three years many other organizations have joined to help him to continue the event.With the LSR Colombo Marathon gaining popularity the Sports Ministry took a decision last year to name it as a National event and support it as it has helped the country in many ways said the Minister.

Secretary to the Minstry Tourism Development Udaya Nanayakkara said that tourism is one of the main resources in the country and sports too can contribute greatly towards the promotion of tourism in Sri Lanka. Sporting events of this nature are beneficial for the promotion of tourism as it brings in competitor for around the globe. Other holiday makers who are keen in having fun through sporting activities are keen to travel to places where the action is.

When conducting this kind of action packed events the visitors are also given the opportunity of witnessing the beauty of our country which the message will be spread among their countrymen that Sri Lanka is a safe destination to visit.

Suren Ratwatte CEO, SriLankan Airlines said that his organization was involved with the Colombo Marathon for over a decade. “Our efforts have brought in good results not only to the sport but also to the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. My Institute serves the LSR Colombo Marathon by way of offering their services to foreign competitors and to other visitors who come to enjoy the event. In addition the SriLanka Airlines has undertaken to sponsor our local Athletes when they participate in foreign countries by way of offering them air tickets for their travels.

The chief Minister of Western Province Isuru Devapriya said that since the LSR Marathon has been taking place in the Western Province and considered it as a duty to help the organization in every possible way.

Almost half of the Marathon is run around the city of Colombo which will give the foreigners an opportunity to see the beauty of the main city .

In the past the provincial council authorities took the responsibility of keeping the runways clean. This year too, they are being instructed to continue with the good work of cleanliness.

Thilak Weerasinghe the founder and the chief organizer of the event said that the first marathon was held in Galle with only 198 participants but now it has increased to 10,000 from all parts of the worlds. Within a few years the event saw more foreigners adding glamour to the marathon. All these successes were able due to the wide publicity given by the Print and Electronic media which has attracted the attention of all foreigners.

He thanked the media for the support rendered. Today the LSR Colombo Marathon has become a popular event among the sport loving public around the globe.. Weerasinghe also thanked the Minister of Sports for nationalising the sport He also thanked the Ministry of Tourism,Western Provincial Council, SriLankan Airlines, and Sri Lanka Police for extending their co-operation for this event to be conducted successfully in the past. This year too these institutions have come forward to give their fullest co-operation and with their unstinted support it is sure that the event will be another successful LSR Colombo 2017.