We need to overhaul the Sports Act, bring it in line with global standards: Sangakkara

AIPS
We need to overhaul the Sports Act, bring it in line with global standards: Sangakkara

Sangakkara stressed that the process this time too will be tedious and was unsure when it will be sent to the legislature to become law.

COLOMBO, Aug. 23, 2020: The newly formed Sports Council has set aside its priorities and the first thing it will be looking at is changing the Sports Act. The committee, headed by former Test captain Mahela Jayawardene, consists of several high profile names both in sports and the corporate sector. Sri Lanka’s leading run scorer in cricket Kumar Sangakkara is also a member. Speaking to The Island, the Sri Lankan great explained the main priority of the Sports Council.
“The Sports Law is now 47 years old. We need to overhaul it and bring it in line with international standards while not losing the local flavour. We also need to look through the Olympic charter to ensure that we are not at odds with each other and to make sure that all associations are complying with it. We have to look at how sports bodies move forward financially, structurally and operationally.
Enacted in 1973 by then Sports Minister, K.B. Ratnayake many may have felt that the Sports Act is an outdated document. Since Ratnayake there have been 21 Sports Ministers and many have spoken of the need to amend the Sports Act but it remained untouched due the tedious process. The incumbent Sports Minister, Namal Rajapaksa, has taken the initiative to change the Sports Act and one of his first moves in the portfolio is to bring in several high profile individuals to the Sports Council.
Sangakkara stressed that the process this time too will be tedious and was unsure when it will be sent to the legislature to become law.
“The Sports Council will look at the overall structure of sports and how we could build up short term, midterm and long term plans to reach our goals. What we require to win at the Asian circuit then of course at the Olympics,” Sangakkara added.
The Sports Council members will read materials given to them before starting discussions to introduce legislation. They are expected to meet in a couple of weeks’ time.