(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa Saturday (27) stated that steps will be taken to strengthen the sports economy by holding several tournaments such as LPL in conjunction with the tourism industry.
The Youth and Sports Minister made this observation while flagging off Race Walking event at the 46th National Sports Festival today in in Kataragama.
The Minister pointed out that the sports economy will be strengthened by directing those involved in various sports related fields such as match referees, coaches and sports coaching assistants to play and work in foreign countries after training.
He also said that the country has already begun to strengthen the sports economy by producing sporting goods and sportswear in the country and generating huge revenue.
Addressing the gathering Minister Namal Rajapaksa noted that last year’s National Sports Festival could not be held due to the coronavirus epidemic. Only a few competitions could be held and arrangements have been made to hold the remaining competitions this year subject to health guidelines.
“We worked to hold international competitions through the bubble concept. Today we have taken steps to restart the sports while successfully controlling the spread of coronavirus in our country. Accordingly, the marathon, walking and cycling competitions of the 2020-46th National Sports Festival will be held for three days from today,” he said.
“In the future, we hope to launch several national and international tournaments in the country that will revitalize other sports as well, thereby contributing to the country’s sports economy. All the necessary arrangements have been made to make this year a sporting year,” he added
The Minister pointing out that with the Covid-19 epidemic last year, the people of the country lost their livelihood as well as activities including sports, said he will take the biggest challenge to build an active society once again and lead to national and international achievements.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Sports, the Department of Sports, the Sports Council and the Ministry of Youth Affairs are working together to successfully transform the people of this country into active people.
“We are building reserves needed for the years 2024, 2028 and 2032 to take cricket as well as all other sports in this country to national and international achievements. In the future, a plan for at least 10 years has been prepared to be implemented at all times. In it a plan is created for a Grade 8 or 13 year old child in a school in our country for the future. Through it we can go to medals and World Cups. We are pleased to be able to implement the plan we have prepared for this.”
“The survival of any sport depends on its economy. When an economy is built within a sport, the economy of the athlete is built. It is in that matter that the player gets a salary and he becomes a professional player.”
Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa stated that the sports economy in the world has been brought to a level of 3% to 4% of the GDP and the goal is to bring it to the level of 2% or 3% in our country.