Former players tie up for betterment
By Karuppiah Ramakrishnan
CT Sports: For the first time in the history of badminton former National players have got together and are likely to contest as a team at the forth coming badminton elections scheduled to be held on 24th March at the Ministry of Sports.
Past national players namely Nishantha Jayasinghe contesting for the post of president and Clarence Homer will be nominated for the post of general secretary while Rohan de Silva and Duminda Jayakody are also contesting for the post of vice presidents respectively.
Nishantha Jayasinghe, who is vying for the post of president told Ceylon Today that the present situation of badminton was very critical because for the past ten years the Badminton Association was ruled by people who have never played the game. He further said that they have tied up for the first time for the betterment of badminton. Their team will be led by Rohan de Silva to carry forward their vision.
The team have discussed with the affiliated district associations about their work plan and the majority of these associations have agreed to this plan.
"Our opponents don't have a proper work plan and they are contesting only on a request not for the development of badminton.
'We don't even have a national pool and only old people are still playing for the nation as the present committee have not developed players for the future," said Jayasinghe.
General secretary candidate Clarence Homer also shared his views at the discussion and said that they are not going to talk about the past and have a proper plan to be executed one month after being elected.
The main plan is to start a national pool immediately and a back up pool of junior players and provincial pools as soon as possible after taking over the association.
"We plan to merge the ranking and schools tournaments with Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) to avoid overlapping in events. We also want to standardize all ranking tournaments and ensure standards of lighting, flooring and shuttlecocks are maintained," said Homer.
All national players will be provided with insurance cover and look into grievances and social aspect of past players.
A senior officer will be selected to attend to all complaints and suggestion. Grant scholarships to talented players while promote private academies to groom players so that they will compete with the national pool.
Nishantha Jayasinghe also said if the opponents are ready to execute their plans and not to work on personnel agendas they are ready to withdraw from contesting the election.
"So far we have nearly 30 million rupees worth of sponsorship and I hope this fund will help us to execute back financially," vouched Jayasinghe.
Before they start the campaign they will discuss with their opposition candidate about the plans.
"The sad part of the story is that all are thinking about becoming president not about developing the sport," said Jayasinghe.
(Pix by Nuwan Amarawansha)
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