Sri Lanka Rugby to develop new home rugby ground?
Sri Lanka Rugby is set to develop a new home ground at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Sports Complex in Diyagama according to the SLR. The deal was one of the final acts of outgoing SLR President Lasitha Guneratne.
In a report by the Sri Lanka Daily Mail, they said the current nations Prime Minister has donated land to Sri Lanka Rugby. It added, “In his (Lasitha Guneratne) almost one-decade of service at the SLR in various capacities including two years as the President, Lasitha had a long-standing dream of obtaining a permanent ground for SLR to conduct their events.”
Where is the new SLR ground?
The new ground is going to be built adjacent to the fully-fledged multi-purpose sports academy named “Mahinda Rajapasksa International Sports Complex” It will consist of an indoor stadium, swimming pool, archery, rifle shooting, baseball, cricket and serving all other sports under one roof, including dormitory facilities for the men and women if needed.”
Guneratne said, “I am happy and delighted to get a plot of land for utilisation for rugby before I sign off. I am thankful to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for granting us this land which was long overdue.”
Malaysia Rugby is also currently building a new home rugby stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
New rugby leadership in Sri Lanka
With Guneratne’s departure, the new Sri Lanka Rugby President was confirmed as Mr Rizly Illyas following the 2020 AGM this past week. Under a banner of “Building for a Winning and Sustainable Future,” the new leadership group will embark on growing and improving the game in the Asian nation.
New Sri Lanka Rugby leadership group 2020:
- President: Rizly Illyas
- Deputy President: Nazeem Mohamed
- Vice President: Rear Admiral HAUD Hettiarachchi
- Secretary: Jude Pillai
- Treasurer: Dinesh Anthony Perera
- Committee Members: Fazal Mohamed, Roshan Deen, Jivan Goonatilleke, Niranjan Abeywardena, Bandula Mallikarachchi, Pavithra Fernando, Paradeep Basnayake and Samantha Nanayakkara.
In addition, recently a former rugby player, Namal Rajapakse, was appointed as Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs in Sri Lanka, which should bode well for national development of the game. He is also the son of the current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Namal was a former Sri Lanka Under 19 team captain in 2004 and played in the UK during his studies. In 2010 he played for the Sri Lanka national rugby union team, and in 2013 was appointed the team’s captain. He retired from competitive rugby in July 2014.
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