Sri Lanka Rugby together with Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) successfully conducted a return to play workshop for all stakeholders yesterday (17th September 2020) at Duncan White Auditorium at the Ministry of Sports. Over 250 people gathered for this event including clubs, schools captains, coaches, managers and masters-in-charge. Also, the provincial development officers of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) and few others were present.
Mr. B.A. Abeyratne President SLSRFA along with Mr R. Ruwan Pathirana, Assistant Director Ministry of Education, Dr.T. Ruwan Pathirana, Ministry of Health graced the occasion and engaged with the participants. They highlighted the superb containment and management of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka in comparison to its neighbouring countries and other major countries in the world.
The programme was developed over a period of months and put together with thoughtful processes and important guidelines for clubs, coaches, associations and match officials to implement. Dr. Namith Sankalpana who is the Chief Medical Officer at SLR conducted a thorough programme with specific details covering all aspects of the game. Participants were fully engaged in the programme through Questions and answers and made to understand the importance strictly implementing these guidelines when the go ahead from the health authorities are obtained for safe return to practice and play rugby.
Participants who attended the programme including the former Tuskers star Fazil Marija commented that the information is comprehensive and useful for safe return to practice and play rugby, they were also optimistic that the authorities would consider this as a useful step towards starting rugby.
Sri Lanka could be the first nation in South Asia to restart rugby if they receive the green light from the Ministry of Health to conduct the scheduled Dialog Club Rugby 7s late October. Dr Sankalpana Stated “I have formulated this COVID-19 guideline by using the World Rugby guidelines as a framework and by carefully considering the current COVID-19 situation in the Island. This is the KEY to re-start playing Rugby in Sri Lanka. However, everybody needs to strictly adhere to these guidelines in order to make it successful. It will be a huge responsibility of every individual who involves and loves this game.”
Sri Lanka Rugby President, Rizly Illyas who is working hard to continue to build the trustworthy relations and get all stakeholders engaged to adapt to the new normal way as this virus may remain for the next one year or more. Therefore, He is hopeful that the proposal sent to the Ministry of Health will get approved in order to restart the Club Seven’s as scheduled.
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