By Susil Premalal reporting from Matara
The final stages of the 30th National Youth Games organised and conducted by the National Youth Services Council (NYSC) commenced at the Kotawila Sports Complex in Matara yesterday (25).
The four-day event was declared open by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the invitation of Erandika Weliange, Chairman and Director General, National Youth Games.
The Games Torch was lit by Malinda Fernando (Galle District), Amasha de Silva (Kandy District), Janaka Wimalasiri (Kandy District) and Vidusha Lakshani (Gampaha District).
The track and field events will commence today (26) with over 3,000 athletes representing all Districts taking part in two age groups namely: Under-20 and Over-20.
Altogether, the Youth Games include 16 track and field events (Men’s and Women’s) as well as team events including volleyball, netball, kabaddi and football.
Meanwhile, the Best Athletes in the two categories (Men’s and Women’s) will be presented with motorcycles.
In addition, if a National record is shattered the athlete would receive a cash award of Rs 50,000 and a cash award of Rs 10,000 would be presented for a Youth Games record.
The closing ceremony will take place on October 28 where Sagala Ratnayake, Minister of Youth Affairs, Project Management and Southern Development will be the Chief Guest.
Last year the overall champions were Gampaha District while the runners-up were Kurunegala District.
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana