Army to salvage Sri Lanka badminton | Sunday Observer

Army to salvage Sri Lanka badminton

Army commander Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake spells out plans to take badminton to all corners of the country as Sanjeewa Wijesekera a match referee listens attentively
Army commander Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake spells out plans to take badminton to all corners of the country as Sanjeewa Wijesekera a match referee listens attentively

An event called the Defenders’ Open Badminton Tournament will be conducted by the Army Badminton Committee for the first time at their newly constructed badminton courts of international standards in Panagoda from April 2 to 8.

This modern indoor stadium at the Panagoda Army cantonment consists of ten courts and matches can be conducted in all these courts at the same time. Fitted with sophisticated equipment, will be the best training centre for the sport in the future.

The Defenders’ Open is for all badminton players and is expected to attract about 1000 entries from the age categories of 11 to 19 years, Open events for men and women and over-35, 40, 45, 50 and 60 years.

All top level players are expected to participate as this tournament is graded as national ranking level one and all winners will obtain ranking points. Entries should be sent in by March 25.

The first two days will see qualifying rounds being played. All those who qualify for the quarter-finals will receive certificates of participation. The finalists will be presented with medals, certificates and awards said Brigadier Duminda Gamage the Chairman of Army Badminton Committee.

Gamage also observed that most Sri Lankan badminton players were unable to compete well at international level. To help them reach higher standards the Army courts can be used by these players to train and improve their standards in their quest to win medals.

Army commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake said that they took this decision to help any sport to improve to international level.

“Army personnel can lead the way and promote sports among the youth of Sri Lanka to reach higher levels. We are prepared to even offer scholarships to promising young players to pursue in the sport,” Lt Gen Senanayake promised.

Lt Gen Senanayake directed the improvement of the facilities for badminton so that the Army can elevate the skills of their sportsmen, trainers and referees who in turn can assist national and school level sportsmen in many ways.

Nishantha Jayasinghe president of Sri Lanka Badminton Association said that they conduct only six level-one ranking tournaments per year but was happy to know that there are courts in other parts of the country as well. He said that he hopes to conduct eight tournaments in Sri Lanka.

He also noted that the standard of badminton in Asia is equivalent to world standard and Sri Lanka needed more facilities to train its players to reach world standards.

 

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