Mahaweli Games athletes in for a windfall | Sunday Observer

Mahaweli Games athletes in for a windfall

One of several floats depicting success for Sri Lanka in sports that was flagged off heralding the countdown to the Mahaweli Games  Pic: Vipula Amerasinghe
One of several floats depicting success for Sri Lanka in sports that was flagged off heralding the countdown to the Mahaweli Games Pic: Vipula Amerasinghe

Winners and runners-up at the 30th Mahaweli Games will be presented with land in their respective places of domicile as all arrangements have been finalised to conduct the event on September 15 and 16 in Embilipitiya.

Mahaweli director Prasad Lekamge told the Sunday Observer that the land deeds will be presented to the successful men and women as a further incentive that will encourage them to do bigger things and improve their humble lifestyles in their own places of residence.

Besides this, the winners will also be presented with attractive prizes.

Lekamge said that the Games are open only for athletes who live in the Mahaweli divisions and over 3000 athletes are expected to participate. The extent of the Mahaweli area covers ten regions, which is 2/3rds of the land extent in Sri Lanka.

The Mahaweli Games torch was lit by President Maithripala Sirisena at a ceremony held at the Torrington Square in Colombo on Thursday.

Lekamge also said that there are plans to enlist the winners with best times to the national pool so that the athletes can enhance their standard and get the opportunity to go further and represent the country some day.

One such athlete from the Mahaweli division who is doing Sri Lanka proud is Gayanthika Abeyratne who is now a top class national middle distance runner.

She has performed well in international meets held in the Asian region as well. She is known to offer stiff competition to the previous best middle distance runner in Nimali Liyanarachchi who hails from the Sooriyawewa area in the south.

One time hurdler Sriyani Kulawansa who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games was also a discovery of the Mahaweli Games concept.

“Several events are lined up to make the occasion very special this year”, said Lekamge.

Already a cycle parade has been arranged to carry the message to the people in the divisions. This will cover a distance of 1100 kilometres and began on September 6.

A parachute display will also be on show on the day of the opening ceremony which will be graced by President Maithripala Sirisena.

There will also be a tree planting campaign done in the Mahaweli divisions and as many as 1100 jak saplings will be circulated among the farmers for this purpose according to Lekamge.

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