Sri Lanka to host Asian Youth Games in 2017
Sri Lanka will host the 3rd Asian Youth Games in 2017, the chairman of Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al – Sabah, announced in Colombo, on Thursday, June 14, 2012.
The Games will be held in the city of Hambanthota and 12 sports will be included in the games.
This was announced at a press conference held in the auditorium of the National Olympic committee in Colombo. Asian Youth Games will bring in around 5000 athletes and sports officials into Sri Lanka and will be staged in the upcoming sports city of Hambanthota.
The announcement came at a time when the southern region of Sri Lanka was dreaming for an event of this magnitude. The games would leave legacy benefiting in several spheres of Economy and society encompassing a vast segment of sporting fraternity as well as other stakeholders and general public.
National Olympic committee, led by president Hemasiri Fernando has been working tirelessly for this sporting victory for Hambanthota when most countries look forward to hold such events to enhance their brand image for various economic and social benefits.
Assisted by Sri Lanka convention Bureau General Manger and Director General of Sri Lanka Tourism Vipula Wanigasekare, Sri Lanka's proposal was finally presented in Kuwait on 04 June 2012 by Sri Lanka's NOC chief Hemasiri Fernando to Sheikh Ahmad Al – Sabah.
Hemasiri Fernando says Sri Lanka's success in securing the games in 2017 was mainly due to the commitment of H.E. the president made his secretary as the chairman of the Organizing Committee while appointing the Minister of sports Hon Mahindananda Aluthgamage as the chairman of the Steering Committee. President's son, Namal Rajapaksha has been appointed as the deputy Chairman.
However, Fernando says there is a lot of work ahead.
Asian Youth Games 2017 will have 12 sports discipline including Athletics and swimming.
"We want to make this the best ever Asian Youth Games. We will start immediately which would not only be infrastructure from roads to Venues but also a vast spectrum of activities including Development programs of Youth, Volunteers, Officials and Referees" Fernando added.
According the Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the games will see a cost of 300 million US dollars.
By Daminda Wijesuriya