By Hishan Welmilla
Every Sri Lankan child is born with a talent in some sport or the other and it is the duty of the authorities to guide them with proper instructions and training to groom them said the newly appointed Minster of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage when assuming duties at the Ministry of Sports.
“I am fully aware of the problems faced by sportsmen and women. I will make arrangements to bring down new expertise and new coaches to groom our athletes and prepare them for the future. Anyone can walk in to my room and discuss their problems,” the Minister further added.
Minister Aluthgamage said that he will work towards obtaining sponsors for each sport and it would ease the burden faced by the associations.
But many will wonder whether the lethargic demeanor of the officials at the Ministry of Sports would change with the arrival of the new Minister. This was clearly visible during the tenure of former Minister C.B. Ratnayake. Although the former Minister was keen to get things done the officials in the Ministry had different ideas.
The first task for the new Minister is to identify the correct people for the correct jobs and get rid of the other lethargic officials from his office. Until such time the words of the Minister would be just ‘words’ with the same old results.
Aluthgamage, having been the Youth Affairs Deputy Minister before taking the baton of Sports will find the transition a smooth one. Aluthgamage did a commendable job when he organised the 22nd National Youth Sports Festival held from November 11 to 14 at the Jayathilake Sports Ground. It was considered as one of the best National Youth Sports Festivals jointly organised by the National Youth Services Council attached to the Youth Affairs Ministry and Sri Lanka Youth Clubs Federation where thousands of sportsmen and sportswomen participated.Minister Aluthgamage has his plate full with the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup just around the corner.