National Rowing Championships | Sunday Observer

National Rowing Championships

The Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka (ARASL) will hold its topmost annual event, the 32nd National Rowing Championship, at the Diyawanna Rowing Course in Rajagiriya from September 21 to 23.

This will be the first occasion that the ARASL dishes out a fully fledged National Championship at its new location, the Diyawanna Rowing Centre, a location blooming to become the prime venue of Rowing in the future.

The three-day event on September 21, 22 and 23 has already attracted over 350 athletes and with the officials and supporting staffs of each team the Diyawanna Rowing Centre is expected to hold over 1000 individuals.

To cater this demand the ARASL will put up makeshift tents on all three days as the permanent structures are still under construction stage. However the venue already has the basic needs for athletes, their boats, officials and other participants.

Sithira Wickramasekera, a senior member of the Organising Committee of the 32nd National Rowing Championship, the ARASL stated that the governing body of the sport, is making all possible measures to line up with international regulations. This is not the first time the Rowing Nationals is held on the Diyawanna waters, but this will be the very first time the athletes will compete on a 2000-metre course on four available lanes.

“We had to sweat and put out our utmost to reach this standard, it was never an easy walk. Uncertainty and barriers were always there to prevent our progress from the very beginning, but with the able leadership of ARASL President, Rohan Fernando, we have managed to overcome all obstacles and are in a position now to hold competitions with international standards,” Wickramasekera stated.

From next Thursday, for three days, over 350 athletes will compete for honours at the 32nd National Rowing Championships on the waters of Diyawanna Oya, now endorsed as one of the safest waterways in the outskirts of Colombo by authorities. The rowers will compete in over 72 events on three days on the purposely built facility supported by the Ministry of Sports, to propagate Rowing.

The starting point of races will be from Diyatha Uyana, towards Rajagiriya, and the end of the 2-kilometre straight course is the Diyawanna Rowing Centre for all races.

The entire event has been properly structured to hold with maximum safety and security to all participants with the help of Local and National authorities and the three armed forces, who will monitor the entire course all the time.

Categories comprise in both Men’s and Women’s Open, Over-18 and Under-18 events and will include Singles, Pairs, Double Sculls, Coxless and Coxed Fours. The schoolboy sculler and schoolgirl sculler events will also be one of the main components of the event this year, where an exhibition Eights race also has been planned. Winners of the Open category are crowned as the National champions. Sri Lanka Army are the current title holders and they will be defending the Men’s Open and the Women’s Open titles this year.

A total of 17 institutions will compete in the events represented by the armed forces, leading universities, public, private and international schools. Strangely the Rowing Nationals has failed to attract a potential sponsor, who can easily become part of the team in taking the sport into the next level.

The 32nd National Rowing Championship will be the final of biggest events in the annual calendar of the Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka. 

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