By Susil Premalal
The Sports Law will be amended to enable anyone to hold office in a national sports association irrespective of whether they have played the game or not, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa said.
At present, apart from the Treasurer, only those who have played at the national level could hold key positions in the national sports bodies, according to the Sports Law.
The decision to change the Sports Laws in this regard was arrived at after much deliberation, the minister said.
“We are in the process of revising the Sports Law after 50 years to keep pace with the times. We are gathering feedback from divisional areas on what should be omitted and what should be retained in the Sports Law,” the Minister said.
Although many officials talk of a national sports policy, no one has given attention to amending the Sports Law which the Minister says he has undertaken as a priority.
Whereas the National Olympic Committee (NOC) is responsible to the International Olympic Committee, development work carried out by the Sports Ministry or the National Sports Council (NSC) will be independent of the Olympic body, the minister said.
However, the sports ministry will be made aware and keep a tab on the local activities of the NOC.
The NSC has formulated a strategic plan targeting the 2024, 2028 and 2032 Olympics in addition to other major international competitions, NSC Chairman Mahela Jayawardene said.
The Sports Ministry will carry out the recommendations of the NSC who will bear the ultimate responsibility.
“We can only make development plans but the NSC cannot win medals,” Jayawardene said.
Sports Minister Rajapaksa and Jayawardene made these observations during a National Sports Update press conference.