By Susil Premalal
The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) has joined hands with the Sports and Education ministries to launch a Junior Development Programme targeting the upcoming Youth Olympics.
Through this programme, the NOC Junior Development Committee intends to overlook the selected athletes’ performances and their needs up until the age of 18.
They will be looking at athletes at present targeting the next three Youth Olympic Games and also who have the potential to develop into medal winners in the future.
A three-tier timeframe of four, eight and 12 years will be followed focusing on all Games and Championships falling within the stipulated time period.
The nine-member committee comprises Shirantha Peries (Chairman), Fazil Hussain (Secretary), Sujani Bogalagama, Upali Amarathunga, J.M. Prabath Indika, Iqbal Bin Isaac, Niloo Jayathilake, Dimuth Gunawardena and Jayala Ratnasooriya.
They will create a pathway that will provide financial support, nutrition, coaching assistance (physical, technical and mental), overseas coaching consultancy, and sending athletes for world ranking tournaments.
As their initial effort, the Junior Development Committee brought together 34 federations related to Olympic disciplines in which Sri Lanka have the potential to win medals at future Youth Olympic Games.
The committee was endorsed by both the Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa and Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris creating a collaboration working towards a single objective and goal, and was initiated by NOCSL President Suresh Subramaniam.