By Shamseer Jaleel
Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR)
will have its AGM today 29 May via Zoom for the very first time in their
history of over 100 years in existence. Representative from Asia Rugby
(AR) too will be present via Zoom as an observer at the SLR Annual General
The Ministry of Sports through a circular has authorised to go ahead due to the current lockdown and pandemic regulations. As this is the second year of presidency of Rizly Illyas and his Council elected in 2020 there will be no election at this AGM.
SLR President Rizly Ilyas said: “We are looking forward to stage 2 back-to-back Asian Sevens International tournaments in Colombo during October/November 2021. We are excited this can be staged under a bio bubble with the sports tourism and SLR is forming this with the blessings of the Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa.
“This is great appreciation and status for Sri Lanka sports to have a request from the President of AR who says that they are confident that SLR can stage back-to-back Sevens tournaments in Colombo. We have got nearly five months to plan. There is enough time to come up with a good plan for these two events which will kick-start the oval-shaped ball game. Sri Lanka Cricket too conducted a similar event under bio bubble at the Lanka Premier League (LPL) which was very successful. This too was under the guidance of Minister Namal Rajapaksa.
“Since there was no rugby for more than one year selectors can pick an initial pool of 25 to 30 players and take them forward to next level with the fitness and availability of players. This is exciting and great news for rugby in the country and Asia. Once we have meeting with the Minister of Sports and work out the plan we will have a written request from Asia Rugby (AR) to take it forward.”
Sri Lanka were to host the Asia Rugby Division 1 encounter between hosts, Sri Lanka, UAE, Singapore and Philippines in Colombo from May 26 to 29 which was postponed due to the pandemic around the globe.
This event which is considered as a yardstick and pathway for promotion/demotion in the Asian region for the Rugby World Cup which takes place every four years. At present Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia are in the top 3 from Asia Rugby (AR). Further SLR were given the green light to host the third leg of the AR plus the AR Under 19 top 4 during the last quarter of 2021 which will be re-scheduled now due to the pandemic.
Council Members for 2021/2022
President: Rizly Illyas
Deputy President: Nazeem Mohamed
Vice Presidents: Rear Admiral H. A. U. D. Hettiarachchi and Susantha Mendis
Secretary: Jude Pillai
Treasurer: Dinesh Anthony Perera
Committee Members: Fazal Mohamed, Roshan Deen, Jivan Goonatileke, SSP Neranjan Abeywardhana, Bandula Mallikarachchi, Pavithra Fernando, Pradeep Basnayake, Dr. Samantha Nanayakkara.
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