100 scholarships for athletes within next two years – Sports Minister
Sri Lankan athletes will receive 100 scholarships within the next two years, says Minister of Youth & Sports Namal Rajapaksa.
The government expects to enrol these athletes in foreign sports training programs, the Minister said further on Tuesday (April 20) in a response to a question raised by MP Shantha Bandara.
He mentioned that the National Sports Council led by Sri Lankan cricket great Mahela Jayawardena has presented a National Sports Plan.
The Sports Minister also notified that for the first time that contracting players professionally is now underway.
According to the minister, 59 players from different sports will be signed in the first round and 50 more players are expected to be signed in the second round. In addition, a special program to identify players has been implemented and schools based on sports will be introduced to enroll students.
Minister Rajapaksa added that, 20% of the money allocated to the Ministry of Sports from this year’s budget has been assigned for the betterment of athletes and coaches. This will be increased up to 25% in next year and 50% in 2025. This will be utilized to strengthen infrastructure facilities and progress of the athletes, he said further.
Furthermore, Minister Namal Rajapaksa emphasized that the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Sports have collaborated in initiating varied programs to strengthen sports in schools and in fact a program will be carried out in May to identify school athletes in different districts.