Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) conducted its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday from 9.30am via Zoom technology with representatives from Asian Rugby (AR) joining in as observers.
The existing office-bearers, headed by SLR President Rizly Illyas will continue to operate for another year as sports activities were minimal throughout the country and even worldwide due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the first instance that the SLR AGM was held via Zoom technology and the Ministry of Sports, through a circular authorised us to go ahead due to the present situation in the country. As this is the second year of the present SLR administration and the council elected in 2020, the same will continue to operate in accordance to the constitution,” a press release issued by SLR stated.With SLR failing to implement its worksheet planned for 2020 and in the early phase of this year, they discussed the possibility of playing at least two instalments of the Inter-Club Rugby 7s before hosting two legs of the Asia Rugby Men’s and Women’s 7s Series during September and October, followed by the Asian Rugby Under-19 Championship during November.
All these tournaments have been planned to be held at the Racecourse ground in Colombo under strict health measures. SLR’s objective, according to its President Rizly Illyas, is based with an overarching goal of winning a medal at the Asian Games 2022.
“I feel a renewed sense of confidence, hopefully with the blessings of the Minister of Sports, Namal Rajapaksa and the Chairman of High Performance Committee Mahela Jayawardene, that we will be able to commence our high performance programme with our Men’s and Women’s players contracted year round for residential training. The end goal is winning medals at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games,” Illyas told the Sunday Times, following the AGM.
The AGM was followed by a council meeting in which the possibilities and required necessities to resume rugby and activate SLR’s short and long term goals were discussed. Rugby activities, at all levels, have come to a standstill due to the rise in numbers affected and deaths caused by the pandemic.
“We are confident to resume rugby. Our goal is winning a medal at the Asian 7s Series and qualifying for the Olympics in 2024 and World Series in 2026, through the strong high performance programme,” Illyas added.
He elaborated that the high performance programme will have a professional outlook with foreign coaches and this will be the opening for the Inter-Club 7s to be played in August and lead the way to prepare the Men’s and Women’s teams for the Asian and Commonwealth Games of 2022 and the Dubai 7s, which will be held during early December this year. “Julian Bolling, member of the Sports Council appointed by the Sports Ministry is currently discussing with SLR Secretary Jude Pillai in finalising the high performance programme,” he asserted.
In addition SLR has drawn plans to rake in new sponsors through a tender process in the future.
· President: Rizly Illyas
· Deputy President: Nazeem Mohamed
· Vice Presidents: Rear Admiral H.A.U.D. Hettiarachchi, Susantha Mendis
· Secretary: Jude Pillai
· Treasurer: Dinesh Anthony Perera
· Council Members: Rizly Illyas, Nazeem Mohamed, Rear Admiral H.A.U.D. Hettiarachchi, Susantha Mendis, Jude Pillai, Dinesh Anthony Perera (all office bearers), Fazal Mohamed, Roshan Deen, Jeevan Goonatileke, SSP Neranjan Abeywardhana, Bandula Mallikarachchi, Pavithra Fernando, Pradeep Basnayake, Mrs. Samantha Nanayakkara (all committee members)
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