Athletics given green light | Sunday Observer

Athletics given green light

1 November, 2020

Director of the Institute of Sports Medicine (ISM), Dr. Lal Ekanayake said that athletics can continue despite the recent spread of covid-19 pandemic as athletics has been categorized as a low risk sport.

Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) was forced to postpone the national trials scheduled for October 24 to 26 due to the sudden surge of the pandemic in the country. It was rescheduled for 29th and 30th but had to be cancelled due to the curfew in the Western Province.

Dr. Ekanayake explained several steps that should be taken by SLA so that they can conduct the athletics nationals that is possible for this year.

“Athletics is not a contact sport and can resume with proper guidelines. But lack of proper liaison between the relevant authorities has resulted in the slow decision making, so I am set to write to the Health ministry requesting a committee be be set up to make key decisions when it comes to resumption of certain sports,” said Dr. Ekanayake.

The national athletic championship is now scheduled for the first week of December but could be pushed towards the end of the month that will give more time for the administrators and athletes to prepare for the event.

“Diyagama is the ideal location to house the athletes and let them train. The environment there is spacious and the risk is lower there compared to the Sugathadasa Sports Complex in Kotahena. But the problem is that the newly laid track is still under the contractors as the lanes are not marked yet.

“The contractors are from Thailand who have to be got down and work completed by November so that the athletes will have ample time to train for the meet in December,” added Dr. Ekanayake.

Dr. Ekanayake also said that athletes from the outstations can be provided with hostels in those areas within close proximity to the stadiums there.

But the Sports Ministry and Sri Lanka Athletics have to come up with solutions and arrange transportation for those athletes to come ahead of the Nationals.

“We should learn to live with covid-19 and resume sports activities which is a vital aspect of our lives. We are ready to set all health guidelines to ensure minimum risk of contamination and let the athletes train.

Already sports have resumed in many countries that were worst effected than us,” said Dr. Ekanayake.