Japansese ambassador Sugiyama handed over a consignment of gymnastics equipment, donated by the Japan Gymnastics Association to Mr. R.A.K. Jeewantha, the General Secretary of the National Gymnastics Association of Sri Lanka, at a brief ceremony held on 31st May, 2021 in the presence of Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, a statement from the embassy said.
The equipment includes a Vaulting Table, a Runway for Vaulting Table, Vaulting Boards, Landing Mat, a Safety Collar for Vaulting Board, and a Mat for Hands. The gymnastics equipment was gifted in response to the request made by Minister Namal Rajapaksa with a view to further promoting sports in Sri Lanka while developing closer engagements of exchanging knowledge and sharing activities with Japan.
Both the Gymnastics Associations of Japan and Sri Lanka have had a close relationship spanning over many years. Japanese coaches have been visiting Sri Lanka since 2006 to train aspiring gymnasts and to encourage the youth to participate in the sport. Such close interactions have most recently culminated in securing qualifications of a Sri Lankan artistic gymnast, Ms. Milka Gehani de Silva, for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. Ms. de Silva has been receiving special training in Tokyo under International Olympic Committee funded scholarship to Japan, and is now getting ready to represent the country for the first time in its history in gymnastics.
With only less than two months away from the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the handover ceremony symbolised Japan’s enduring commitment to further bolstering the bond of friendship through the sports exchanges, even under the global challenge of COVID-19.
*** Both the Gymnastics Associations of Japan and Sri Lanka have had a close relationship spanning over many years