Over 20,000 athletes in the fray | Sunday Observer

Over 20,000 athletes in the fray

25 June, 2023

Schools from all over the country are contesting the prestigious Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championships conducted for the 91st time for the senior athletes while the junior athletes will feature in the meet for the 52nd time.

In all over 20,000 athletes are billed to participate in all their meets conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association (SLSAA).

Also for the first time the SLSAA kicked off the Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championship with the Ritzbury Relay Carnival yesterday at the Sugathadasa Stadium. This meet will see more that 4000 children from some 200 schools turning up to run for prestige.

The 91st edition of the Senior championship will feature in the age groups of under-16, 18 and 20 for girls and boys.

The 51st Sir John Tarbat junior championship will cater to athletes in the age categories of under-12 to 15. Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL) has come forward to sponsor this prestigious Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championship for the eleventh consecutive year.

President of the SLSAA Dr. Kusala Fernando said that the continuous support from CBL will motivate athletes to excel in every outing with the future in mind. He said the athletes will also be groomed in a fruitful manner for them to reach high standards.

“The support from Ritzbury is invaluable to the growth and prosperity of the sport. It also helps to develop the talents of young athletes from throughout the country,” said Dr. Fernando.

“As athletics is a major sport in the country the SLSAA will be conducting meets in the North and East as well. This will help to unearth fresh talent from those areas that were neglected in the past”.

Stage one of the John Tarbat athletics will take place at various locations, including Bogambara Stadium in Kandy on July 7 and 8, Belliatta at DA Rajapaksa Stadium on July 18 and 19, Jaffna Municipal ground on August 10 and 11 and the Bandaragama Public ground from August 19 to 21.

The finals of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Championship are scheduled to take place from September 12 to 16 and the Junior Championship from November 3 to 5 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

“CBL Foods is dedicated to fostering young sportsmen and women who have the potential to remain committed to progress in their journey, said Nilupul de Silva, General Manager, Marketing of CBL.

“We are to stage meets in the North and East to encourage athletes from those areas to get involved. They have shown enthusiasm in getting involved in sports and it is our privilege to partner with Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championship once again”.

De Silva also said that they hope to select about 15 talented athletes and support them by providing funds annually until they reach national standards.