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Mahaweli Sports Festival – 2017 commences tomorrow

HE MR PICThe 29th Mahaweli Sports Festival will commence today (Sep. 09) at the National Playground in Polonnaruwa.

The inaugural ceremony will be held with
participation of the Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara at 8. 30a.m. tomorrow while the concluding ceremony will be held on Sep. 10, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The sports festival has been organized under the guidance of the State Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Mahinda Amaraweera and the Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayarathne.

Nearly 4500 athletes from 10 Mahaweli Zones island-wide will participate in this sports festival.  This will consist of 57 athletic events including 41 filed and track events, 14 group games and two cycle races for males and females.

The Mahaweli Sports Festival, considered as one of oldest sports festivals in the country, bestowed athletes, coaches, sports officers and referees to the sports of Sri Lanka.

It was founded in 1986, with the objective of taking the skills of Mahaweli colonists from national level to international level. The sports festival which started with 7 zones is now spread to 10 zones. Substantial number of athletes who were risen from the Mahaweli Sports Festival have taken the name of Sri Lanka to the international level.

The sports festival which commenced in the year 1986 in Galnewa, from this time forth continuously held until the year 2012, and in 2013 and 2014 it was abandoned. But, after the new government came into the power, the sports festival re-started since the year 2015,under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena to display the talents of the children in Mahaweli zones to the world.

Veteran women’s athlete Sriyani Kulawansa won the Asian medal and emerged as a hurdler representing Mahaweli H zone and winning the game, Women’s Cycling Champion U.D.Sriyalatha, Renuka Abeygunawardena who represented National Women’s Volleyball team and former captain of the Sri Lanka national Kabaddi team were all emerged as sportsmen and women through the Mahaweli sports festival.

Javelin thrower Sumedha Ranasinghe who participated in the Rio Olympics emerged as a sportsman from the Victoria zone, and one of the talented sportsmen emerged from Mahaweli Zones.

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