By Susil Premalal
Four politicians are eyeing the post of President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVBF) at the election of office-bearers sources told the ‘Daily Mirror’.The elections will take place on April 4.
Incumbent SLVBF president Deputy Speaker Ranjith Siyambalapitiya representing Kegalle District, State Minister D.V. Chanaka from Hambantota District, State Minister Nalaka Godahewa representing Gampaha District, SLVBF vice President and former Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Chairman Kanchana Jayaratne from Ratnapura District are vying to become SLVBF President for the period 2021-2024.
None of the four candidates have officially submitted their nominations but their camps have started campaigning.
This is the first time in SLVBF history that there is a contest for the top post between politicians who have previously been at the helm of the volleyball body but were elected uncontested.
Politicians have been heading SLVBF from the mid 80s.
Former Ministers Ronnie de Mel, Asoka Wadigamangawa, D.B. Wickremasinghe, Mervyn J. Cooray, Reggie Ranatunga, Dilan Perera and former Chief Minister Susil Moonesinghe are among several politicians who became SLVBF President.
Volleyball is the national sport in Sri Lanka and has a history dating back over a century.
Sri Lanka has been able to win volleyball gold medals only at the South Asian Games (SAG). That was when the women’s team won the title at the 1991 SAG held in Colombo. At the 2019 Kathmandu SAG both men and women clinched gold medals in the beach volleyball event.
Meanwhile, the SLVBF has nominated seven names to the Election Committee to the Sports Ministry.
They are retired High Court Judge Kumara Ekaratne, retired SSP Suranjith Kumarapeli, retired SP N.A.T. Jayasinghe, retired Deputy Sports Director General Sunil Jayaweera, retired Director of Sports Olivia Gamage, retired Assistant Sports Director Padma Baddewela and retired lecturer Champa Gunawardena.The Sports Minister will select either three or five names for the Election committee.