Sri Lanka Rugby to thrive after productive meeting with Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa | Daily News

Sri Lanka Rugby to thrive after productive meeting with Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa

The Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) officials met Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, on Monday to discuss the future endeavours of their association. SLR officials pose for a picture with the minister. (From left to Right) Treasurer SLR Dinesh Perera, Vice President, SLR Rear Admiral H.A.U.D. Hettiarachchi, Deputy President SLR Nazeem Mohamed, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, President SLR Rizly illyas, Secretary SLR Jude Pillai, Consultant SLR Kevin Herft.

The Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) officials met Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, on Monday to discuss the future endeavours of their association. SLR officials pose for a picture with the minister. (From left to Right) Treasurer SLR Dinesh Perera, Vice President, SLR Rear Admiral H.A.U.D. Hettiarachchi, Deputy President SLR Nazeem Mohamed, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, President SLR Rizly illyas, Secretary SLR Jude Pillai, Consultant SLR Kevin Herft. 

Sri Lanka Rugby is excited after a very difficult period for the sport which hugely affected all clubs and the livelihood of people. The Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Namal Rajapaksa assured Sri Lanka Rugby that the sport will commence with big plans for the future.

A highlight of the meeting was the Minister’s selfless long-term vision to create a structure for all sports to flourish under any political administration.

SLR President Rizly Illyas stated “We can confidently announce that Rugby fans and players can be excited and look forward to many innovative initiatives on the future of Sri Lanka Rugby”.

The Minister gave the greenlight to start the domestic season with the shorter version of the game to commence from January 2021 and provided guidance and support keeping in mind the safety of fans, players and the community.

Players and officials should be quarantined for seven days or home quarantined following important guidelines. It was decided either to play in Galle or Kandy with players and officials being quarantined for one week or home quarantined. Namal Rajapaksa was committed to raising the bar of Sri Lanka Rugby to be a rugby powerhouse in Asia.

Sri Lanka Rugby President Rizly Illyas requested for a ground for Sri Lanka Rugby, In huge boost for high performance the Minister provided the Nawalapitiya grounds as a high performance centre for men and women with all the facilities to be managed and run by Sri Lanka Rugby.

This facility will uplift national pool players to rise to international standards. The Minister was also keen on Sri Lanka Rugby taking a scientific approach and embracing innovations in technology to measure and manage player performance, the Minister promised to provide access to Sri Lanka Rugby on project that he has initiated with the schools to integrate into the player database. Also discussed the importance of high performance squad for the 7s national side and the under 23 high performance squad, who should be contracted directly with SLR.

The Minister also spoke very enthusiastically about bringing in top foreign players and coaches and requested Sri Lanka Rugby to provide a comprehensive structure to create model for a Super Sevens franchise league comprising of eight clubs named after prominent cities in Sri Lanka so that Sri Lanka Rugby could be self-sustained moving forward. Minister stated he will make arrangements with Sri Lanka Rugby to meet up with icons of IPL and television networks who will come into bid for these franchise teams and this should be a revenue based model to help Sri Lanka Rugby which self-support. Namal Rajapaksa stated that the sport should be the winner even if governments change.

Sri Lanka Rugby Deputy President and tournament committee Chairman Nazeem Mohamad proposed for foreign players to play in all eight teams,the minister welcomed the initiative and stated this will be a great boost for the players, crowd and the game. The Minister has led such initiatives in the past and spoke about the benefit it brings to sport as well as the economy.

The minister went on to state that 2nd and 3rd generation foreign players to be allowed to play in Sri Lanka, He specifically spoke about Gauder who is currently playing for CH and FC, whose grand parents are Sri Lankan. He requested SLR to look into these possibilities and provide them with the opportunity whose expertise and experience will benefit all.