09th September 2021 16:30:33 Hours
Just a few hours after Paralympians returned home with Gold and Bronze Medals, Hon Minister of Sports, Namal Rajapakse, along with State Minister, Hon Senuka Vidanagamage, General Shavendra Silva, Chairman, National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army and Ministry officials this morning (8) had a cordial welcome meeting with Medalists at the Ministerial office, Torrington Square.
The cordial interaction got underway after Paralympics Medalists in Javelin Throw and the Coach were garlanded at the entrance before they were ushered to the Hon Minister in waiting. Warrant Officer 1 Dinesh Priyantha Herath of Gajaba Regiment (GR), the Gold Medalist in Paralympics Games - 2020 and Corporal Dulan Kodithuwakku of Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police (SLCMP), the Bronze Medalist during exchange of views in the special meeting expressed their gratitude to the Minister, Coach and the Army Chief for making their dreams come true as assured before they left the island.
The Minister congratulating both Medalists and the Coach, Mr Pradeep Nishantha in particular assured them of all support and encouragement in future too and wanted them to perform better and better and inquired into their needs in future for more gains.
Joining the meet, General Shavendra Silva, Chairman, National Sports Selection Committee, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, extending his warm wishes, compliments and congratulatory remarks opined that the Gold Medalist, made not only the country proud, but also the Sri Lanka Army, coloured with a string of athletics achievements gains since he adds a new golden leaf to the annals of the Army's athletics in an impressive manner.
The Army in close collaboration with its Directorate of Sports expects to hold a separate ceremony to felicitate both of them once the threat of the COVID-19 epidemic is over and General Shavendra Silva pointed out that such world-class records would serve a vibrant boost to the budding athletes in the country. The Armed Forces' contribution to the sphere of sports would remain a notable feature for years to come while providing further confidence and strength to our national teams, General Shavendra Silva remarked.
Hon Senuka Vidanagamage, State Minister, Messrs Anurada Wijekoon, Secretary to Ministry of Sports, Chandraratne Pallegama, Additional Secretary, Amal Edirisuriya, Director General, Department Sports Development, Dr Lal Wijenaike, Director General Sports Medicine, Sevya Muttetuwagama, Member, National Sports Council Major General (Retd) Rajitha Ampemohotti, Chief-de- Mission of Sri Lanka Paralympic team and a few others were associated with the occasion.
The Army has hitherto produced a considerable number of international medalists and its list of international medalists includes Major Duncan White, Corporal Susanthika Jayasinghe, Staff Sergeant Pradeep Sanjaya, Staff Sergeant H. A. C Hettiarachchi, et al. In addition, .Army athletes in the past few years have represented the country in national teams in many diversified sports fields, including cricket at international level bringing honour to the organization.
To-date, Army athletes have won 02 medals in Olympics, 04 in Paralympics, 98 in World Championships, 10 in World Military Games, 26 in Commonwealth Games, 279 in Asian Games, 23 in Lufthansa and 22 more Medals in different international games and sports tournaments.