Friday, July 12, 2024

Fuelling Olympic dream: MAS Athlete Training Academy 

Must Read

  • Investment over Rs.550 mn towards long-term development of medal-winning talent
  • Sri Lanka’s largest public private partnership in athletics development including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sports, NOCSL, SLAA and SLOA
  • Training and support committed towards success at 2028 and 2032 Olympics

Apparel-tech conglomerate, MAS Holdings, has received Cabinet approval to establish Sri Lanka’s first and largest

Public Private Partnership (PPP) dedicated to the sponsorship of next-gen Olympians through the establishment of the MAS Athlete Training Academy, set to officially launch in July.

Funded through an investment of over Rs. 550 million, the academy will identify, develop and support promising young athletes to successfully represent Sri Lanka at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and the Brisbane Olympics in 2032. This substantial investment will be channeled over an eight-year period towards a holistic development program combining focused training, worldclass athletic gear, international exposure, nutritional and educational support with funds and equipment being provided directly to athletes and their respective coaches.

“Over the years, all of Sri Lanka’s Olympic medals have been in athletics. It is a sport that has immense potential but limited support, with many successful athletes coming from rural and impoverished backgrounds.
“We felt it was time to take athletics in Sri Lanka seriously, making an impactful investment to harness the potential of Sri Lankan athletes, and prepare them to compete and succeed at the highest level globally.” MAS Holdings Co-Founder & Chairman Mahesh Amalean said.

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sports, National Olympic Committee, Sri Lanka Athletics Association, and the Sri Lanka Olympian Association, the MAS Athlete Training Academy will follow a comprehensive process to identify and nurture talented athletes from schools. Athletes who are outstanding performers will be identified and selected through specialized testing and selection camps. The beneficiaries will be supported through their athletics careers, with funds, equipment, educational support, nutritional supplements, coaching allowances, and potential international training and exposure.

Following an evaluation of more than two hundred athletes from the all-island school games in May 2024, the first batch of 56 athletes, 24 girls and 32 boys, have been selected from across the country’s nine provinces, representing the short, mid, and long-distance track events as well as numerous field events. Their ongoing performance and training metrics will be tracked by the academy using a best-in-class digital app.
‘’Sri Lanka has tremendous potential to excel in athletics. Even with basic training in the past, our athletes have demonstrated remarkable talent and determination, leading to many significant wins,” said Sriyani Kulawansa, the President of the Sri Lanka Olympian Association.

‘’I see great opportunities for our young athletes. With support and modern training techniques, we can surely produce more medal winners. As a former Olympian, I am happy to support the Academy and its mission of nurturing future champions. I commend MAS Holdings for fueling the Olympic dream and keeping the nation’s hopes alive in the sporting arena” she added.

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