Invest in sports and good sports people



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I read the article written by Dr. B J C Perera on `Hail the Commonwealth Games Medal Winners’ in today’s (13th April) online edition of The Island. I agree with much of what he has to say.


I might like to add that the poor investment in sports and non-sports people in charge of major sporting bodies in Sri Lanka, who unfortunately have the power to make decisions affecting performances in the sporting fields, have really put the brakes on the progress of spots men and women in their respective disciplines.


Why oh why, are these non-sporting people appointed to such positions? If the government must appoint, why not appoint such people for a limited term but not give them powers to interfere with the management of the sports itself? Their job is to be figureheads and attract funding for the sporting body they `represent’. Running the sport itself, is the job of the people who have been sports people in the past and who know what they are doing.


It is great to see SL sportsmen and women winning a record tally of medals in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The next step would be to emulate this in the summer Olympics in Tokyo in two years’ time. That would be a remarkable feat. In order to achieve that, investments will be needed and athletes will need to be professional, not amateurs.


Here in the UK, the investment is such that it takes in the order of £3m (SL Rs 600m) per gold medal. As all your readers know in the summer Olympics two years ago, the UK came second in the medals table. SL may not invest like this, but the government and country need to think about the facilities required, reduce corruption surrounding sporting bodies, and find and train able sports people from the population of 20 million who can serve the country proud.


DR H DIAS


Slough, UK


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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