The Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation commenced its National convention yesterday at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in the presence of Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera. The theme for this year’s convention will be ‘Fostering the National Sports’ with the ‘Vision to enrich Volleyball as the National Sport in Sri Lanka’ through a visible development plan with the aspiration of the Volleyball Fraternity in the Island.

With this convention the SLVBF expect to gather views for the development of the sport which has been here for over a century. SLVBF with the views gathered from this Convention hope to set up plan to make its mission a success for four years. For this the SLVBF is to launch a four year program in three segments named as short, medium and long term projects to develop the game through out the country.

The first project, the short term program had commenced in April 2017 will end on April 2018. The objectives of these programs are to conduct tournaments using high technical standards which will attract more participation. To increase cash awards with the intention of attracting more teams. This sector will also serve as an opportunity to bring the players to professional level.

Special training programs are to be conducted for local and international Coaches, Referees and technical Officers. This will help them to develop the game on a higher level. These coaches and Technical officers will have to make use of their training to identify potential players with talent for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball.

The two year program which is expected to commence this September will include the following Agenda. To set up men and women junior pools in preparation for Asian Championship, with the intention of winning the gold medals. To prepare teams both men and women for the South Asian Games and also to qualify for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games for the Asian region. To keep Sri Lanka’s Beach Volleyball standard at its top spot within the South Asian region.

Training programs for coaches, Technical Officers and Referees to be conducted locally. Gaining the services of foreign coaches for national and junior teams if the need arises. The most important aspect is the program is to find a job market for Volleyball players as they are liable to keep away from the sport due to financial difficulties and the tendency to divert to other fields of sport is possible for financial gains.

The long term plans are set for a period of four years include the following. To popularize volleyball throughout the country with a view to achieve targets and to reach a higher level at Asian standards in both men and women categories.

The Minster of Power and Renewable Energy and President of SLVBF Rajith Siyabalapitiya making the keynote address at the commencement of the convention disclosed the above details. He further added that Volleyball being the national sport of Sri Lanka it is the duty SLVBF to popularize the game. To do that it has to gain the knowledge and also the views of interested persons who love the sport.

This convention will serve the SLVBF to set the four programs after considering the views and projects that will be proposed during this convention by Committees that are appointed for various sections. On completion of the final program it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Sports for its support.

The Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera addressing the Convention Stated that Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation has taken the right decision by arranging a convention of this nature to get the views and available knowledge before setting targets to uplift the sport. It is not only the SLVBF that is convenience by this but also the Ministry of Sport he said.

Minister further said that by planning a four year program the Ministry too will get the opportunity to prepare the sporting calendar and also will ease other problems such as financial issues. When Sports governing bodies forward their proposals of its activities the Ministry will be able to set aside the finances from it’s budget accordingly.

He further added that after assuming the Office as Minister of Sports he invited all Sports Governing Bodies for a meeting and requested them to forward their future programs to the Ministry.He was unhappy that only five Governing Bodies out of 42 responded to the request.

But when it comes for Tournaments and for Foreign tours personnel of these Sports Bodies rush to the ministry for assistance. If they forward these future programs before hand delays could be avoided to make matters easy for all concerned.

The action taken by SLVBF to hold a Convention of this nature will be of great value for all, the Minister said. He assured the fullest co-operation to SLVBF to uplift the national sport of our country Volleyball. He also paid a glowing tribute to the Media for the services rendered to popularize Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in Sri Lanka.

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