By Susil Premalal
The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) yesterday signed a two-year agreement with Crysbro to launch the ‘NOCSL-Crsybro Next Champ’ Scholarship Programme to empower and support the aspirations of young athletes in rural Sri Lanka.
Under the landmark agreement, Crysbro will serve as the sponsor for 20 deserving athletes scouted by NOCSL, with potential to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games 2022, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games 2022 and the next South Asian Games (SAG).
Five young promising athletes have been selected so far by a committee headed by 2000 Sydney Olympic Silver Medallist, Susanthika Jayasinghe and comprising 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games Gold Medallist Shehan Ambepitiya, SAG Gold Medallist Ineka Cooray and 2012 Olympic swimmer Rishika Udugampola.
The next five athletes will be chosen within the next few days while the balance 10 slots will be kept open to be selected from local competitions to be held during the next three months.
The scholarships will cover costs such as nutrition, transportation costs, coaching fees, accommodation, logistic such as clothing, sports gear, and medical expenses necessary for the training, grooming and development of each selected athlete.