Written by Staff Writer
14 Jul, 2016 | 9:08 pm
The nationwide initiative, the Torch of Hope, a rally which is aimed at encouraging Sri Lankan sportsmen and women who will represent the country at the 2016 Rio Olympics was launched on Thursday morning.
The Torch of Hope rally is being held with the objective of extending the wishes of the general public from every district in the country to the athletes who will be competing at the Rio Olympics.
The Ministry of Sports and the National Youth Services Council have also joined hands with The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited and News 1st in this endeavour.
The official launch of the Torch of Hope rally commenced at the Independence Square with the participation of sportsmen and women who have brought glory to Sri Lanka.A group including Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera and Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi were also in attendance at the occasion.
First Secretary of the Brazilian Embassy in Sri Lanka as well as senior officials of the The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited were also present for the ceremony.
Director/General Manager of News 1st, Yasarath Kamalsiri stated that this programme is launched in order to wish the Sri Lankan athletes who will be leaving to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the Olympics..
Minister of Sports, Dayasiri Jayasekera stated that the Captial Maharaja Organisation has stepped in every time when certain task must be carried out on behalf of the nation.
Furthermore, he called upon all Sri Lankans to join the motorcade and join Sirasa, to extend their fullest support, while wishing all the Sri Lankan athletes competing in the Olympics.
From among the athletes who will be representing Sri Lanka at the Olympics, Javelin thrower Sumeda Ranasinghe, shuttler Niluka Karunaratne, swimmer Mathew Abeysinghe and sport shooter Mangala Samarakoon took part in the launch of the Torch of Hope rally.
Among the other athletes who have qualified for the Olympics are, marathon runner Anuradha Indrajith Cooray, swimmer Kimiko Rahim, Judoka Chamara Dharmawardena and weight lifter Sudesh Peiris who are currently training overseas while marathon runner Niluka Rajasekera is training in Nuwara Eliya.
Susanthika Jayasinghe who won silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Olympian Shriyani Kulwansa commenced the Torch of Hope rally.
The rally which will journey across the country carrying the Torch of Hope for twenty three days starting today, is scheduled to return to Colombo on August 5.. The brass band of the Sri Lanka Army added colour to today’s proceedings. The Torch of Hope which reached Puttalam on Thursday, is set to leave for Anuradhapura on Friday.
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