Sri Lanka nets in 13 ‘next champs’ | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka nets in 13 ‘next champs’

20 August, 2023
The athletes who received the sponsorship package: Amaya Ranasinghe, Chamodya Keshani, Munuwanda de Silva, Nilupul Pehesara, Mithun Raj, Thusen Silva, Ayomal Akalanka, Dhanuka Dharshana, Sachini Rajika, Ranindi Pehansa, Nethmi Ahinsa and MDM Premaratne. Absent: Dumindu Abeywickrema (Pix: Wimal Karunathilaka)

Thirteen talented, active and committed athletes have been handpicked to be groomed as potential medal winners for the country.

They have been named as the ‘Next Champ’ in the second phase of the NOC-Crysbro program to support them until they are fully developed.

This project began with the first phase proving to have borne the desired results. The initial phase supported 20 fledging junior athletes who showed promise to deliver locally and internationally.

This phase of the NOC Sri Lanka and Crysbro Next Champ will support the deserving 13 young athletes who reside in rural regions of the country until they realize their goals.

The setting up of the second phase was announced at the NOC Auditorium on Thursday (17).

“I know how difficult it is to find a sponsor at these difficult times. They stood by their commitment to support these young athletes. They will want to produce athletes the way they produce chicken.

“They (Chrysbro) have spent nearly Rs. 40 million last time and are confident to produce many medal winning athletes in the future too,” vouched Suresh Subramaniam the head of the National Olympic Committee (NOC).

“We saw with the immense success of our first phase. We are blessed with an abundance of very talented and resilient young people who haven’t received the support they deserved in order to excel in their respective events. “We are proud to announce that we have identified 13 gifted athletes who will receive the support they need to propel their skill and growth to bring further victory to Sri Lanka.

“We are grateful once again to join forces with our partner Crysbro and look forward to extending this fruitful relationship with every new stage,” added Subramaniam.

“We are thankful for the endorsement of us that makes us very proud to see achievements. We wish them the best in their future endeavours that encourages us to continuing what we are doing. It is a wonderful feeling to see where we are moving to and that Phase Two is already falling into place. We are seeing the achievements and that is what we are looking forward to.

“We began five years back with the first phase by supporting 20 young athletes with a majority of them earning victory for Sri Lanka at national and international level. Following on that success once again we have chosen 13 athletes who reside across the rural areas to continue supporting them,” said Amores Sellar the Marketing Manager of Crysbro.

“I was selected by Crysbro in 2020 and thankful for the assistance. It was after this that I decided to improve the standard by carefully following the instructions given by the coach,” said Nethmi Ahinsa who won the first medal for Sri Lanka at a Commonwealth Games.