Ceremonial functions seen as useless without results | Sunday Observer

Ceremonial functions seen as useless without results

7 March, 2021
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa addressing the audience
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa addressing the audience

Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, along with the Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC) Mahela Jayawardena, elaborated on progress made so far in developing sports in the country while identifying the sports that need their immediate attention by way of financial support and technical assistance while declaring that ceremonial functions like foundation-stone laying will be meaningless if results are not forthcoming.

Likewise the Sports Ministry has requested all affiliated bodies to furnish their effective work plan, short and long term, in order to obtain the support from the government for their future endeavors.

“Our aim is not to lay foundation stones but proceed with proper executed plans in developing sports. We are closely monitoring all bodies under our purview, whether they are precisely active or not. There are complaints received against some bodies which we are inquiring into and some have been directed to the CID for investigation. We assure that we will not tolerate any misbehavior by these sports bodies,” said Minister Rajapaksa at the Duncan White auditorium on Wednesday.

In his address the Minister further stated: “We are facilitating all governing bodies with proper plans to support them in whatever possible ways and means, to put them in line with the system established by the NSC.

“Unlike in the past, all information pertaining to an athlete is secured and computerized. We have a vision of developing sports to reach the next level, which is a herculean task but achievable. With the support of Mahela and his indefatigable team we are on to that task. We are pretty confident that we can achieve our goals provided the stakeholders, especially the sporting bodies, support us.

“We even made changes to the election process while electing members to their governing bodies. Earlier, the elected member should have been a former player of that particular sport, but with the new Gazette notification any suitable person with a clean reputation and who will be service-oriented will be entitled to submit his or her nomination for election which we feel is a fair call to eradicate corruption from the game.

Jayawardena outlined the progress made while Committee Member Julian Bolling briefed on how the stipulated plans work. They have segregated sporting events as Tier-1 (Olympics and Para Olympics) followed by Asian, Commonwealth, Asian Para and Asian Beach Games.

Tier-2 will include high potential sports persons and Tier-3 upcoming sports persons while Tier-4 will be sports persons unwilling to work along the Tier system.

“We are thankful to the Sports Minister for initiating this move. I am really thankful to my team members who spare their valuable time for this endeavor while engaging in their day-to-day activities. For the first time in history a Sports Minister was able get 20% increase for the sports budget, which earlier was a mere 6%.

“Also, over 50 athletes have entered into an agreement with a monthly salary. This will enable them to concentrate on their sporting discipline freely and peacefully. Nevertheless, it is a long process and will take time to generate results while developing the infrastructure. But we are pretty confident that once the systems are in order anyone can follow it and gain results,” said Jayawardena.

He also disclosed plans of structuring an ultra-modern Sports Complex at Kirimandala Mawatha which the Pakistan government has agreed to fund that will be a future asset for athletes.