By Anjana Kaluarachchi
Athletes in Sri Lanka are in for a windfall with Bank of Ceylon (BOC) agreeing to purge out Rupees 23 million annually to support their needs for a five year term. This sponsorship deal will help uplift the standard of athletics in the country that has has been declining in recent past with the retirement of Susanthika Jayasinghe, Sugath Thillakaratne, Sriyani Kulawansa and Damayanthi Dharsha and a few other star athletes.
However, it is the Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage who has set about obtaining sponsors for ten identified sports in Sri Lanka. As an initial step Netball was the first sport to receive a bumper sponsorship deal by Nestle’s Lanka Limited and this is the first time athletics has received a five year deal.
The sports minister added that they are making arrangements to find employment for national pool athletes at BOC.
Exchange of documents on the agreement took place at the National Olympic House on Sunday where senior and junior athletes with their coaches and parents had attended.