Sri Lanka Athletics launch new logo | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Athletics launch new logo

19 December, 2021

Any athlete’s dream is to win a medal at the Olympic Games and in the past hundred years of athletics in Sri Lanka the country has won only two silver medals so far.

To fulfill these dreams during these past hundred years, officials, athletes and coaches have worked hard to reach this level, but in the present day the athletes’ efforts are not enough. This was said by the Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa when he attended the launch of a new logo for Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) as the chief guest.

“We have seen results by way of winning medals at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the South Asian Federation Games but these achievements are not enough. Athletes have to do more training and improve on their own timings to rise to high levels to win medals at international meets,” added Rajapaksa.

“Our athletes should set new records every time they compete at national or international level. We should try to achieve this within the next five years. We have good athletes whose mental state must be improved to win. SLA is doing a great job in this regard,” said Rajapaksa.

“We have not done anything to improve the standards by implementing new systems during the past 100 years. We are stagnant in our methods while other countries have gone ahead by leaps and bounds. Find the talented athletes so that we can send them overseas for further training. Already we have about 60 athletes enrolled in the high performance program. They need more support in the future as they are faced with high technology and challenges to reach higher levels,” observed Rajapaksa.

The Ministry is also planning to build more synthetic tracks in Jaffna, Kandy and at grounds owned by national schools in the near future so that athletes can improve their standards.

“However good the athlete is and have won medals will not be allowed to participate if their discipline is found to be bad,” concluded Minister Rajapaksa.

The logo launch was conducted to celebrate a hundred years of athletics in Sri Lanka. The new logo was designed by a schoolboy from Nalanda College. The Association is now renamed as Sri Lanka Athletics and the logo is also newly designed to celebrate the occasion. The launch was sponsored by Alliansz Insurance.

President of Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Palitha Fernando said that Sri Lanka was the third Asian country to be recognized by the IAAF out of a total of 43 Asian countries.

“When Sri Lanka obtained the membership with IAAF under the British rule only athletes in the Armed forced and planters were active in the sport. After that the schools began conducting meets. Today schools and national associations conduct meets and there are a total of 5000 events conducted per year,” noted Fernando.

Sri Lanka Athletics is proud about the medals tally to date. They have won two silver medals at the Olympics Games, one gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, ten gold medals and 27 other medals at Asian Games and 166 medals at the South Asian Federation Games so far. In all Sri Lanka has won 332 medals out of which 116 are gold medals.

Our athletes have not won any medals after 2006 but in 2018 youth athletes won nine medals at the Asian Youth Games and had a few finalists at the World Youth Games.

Sri Lanka’s talented athletes are receiving coaching by foreign coaches and some are sent overseas for training with the help of the Sports Ministry. Already six athletes are receiving training in the USA and Italy and the Ministry has decided to send more athletes to foreign countries for further training.

“Let’s hope that Sri Lankan athletes can win at least five medals at the Asian Games to be held next year,” said Fernando.

SLA has planned to conduct several meets next year to celebrate their 100 years. The nationals will be held on January 22 at the Sugathadasa Stadium, followed by a half marathon. A commemorative stamp and a first day cover will be issued on April 7. The South Asian Council meeting will also be held here.

Foreign athletes will be invited to participate at the National Championship to be held on April 8. The Junior Nationals will be held in the month of May. There will also be a South Asian Junior Championship on May 19 and 20 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.