The South Asian Sepaktakraw Federation with its headquarters in India is making elaborate arrangements to stage sepaktakraw as an event for the first time at the forthcoming South Asian Games to be held in India with the participation of SARCC member countries India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.
This was disclosed by Nizam Hajireen, a triple international in football, rugby and sepaktakraw, the President of the Amateur Sepaktakraw Association of Sri Lanka and Deputy President of the South Asian Sepaktakraw Association (SASTAF) who attended the recently concluded 28th SEA Games in Singapore where Nizam Hajreen participated as a member of the Jury of Appeal for the Sepaktakraw Competition of the SEA Games.
“The Asian Sepaktakraw Association Ex-Co too met during the SEA Games and deliberated on the World Cup, Asia Challenge Cup and the Asian Games to be held in Bangkok in 2015, in Malaysia (2016) and in Jakarta-Indonesia in 2018 respectively and also the Asian Beach Games in Busan, Korea in August this year. The only setback being the outbreak of ‘MERS’ virus which would prompt the Beach Games in Korea being pushed back for a few months. Participation of Sri Lanka at these competitions is keenly looked forward to by the host countries considering the seniority of Sri Lanka as an affiliate member of both Asian and International Sepaktakraw Federations.”
Continuing Nizam Hajireen said, “It all depends on the Sports Ministry and the NOC of Sri Lanka where responses made for affiliation and recognition is pending which decisions are holding up the association’s future commitments. I pray that saner council will prevail and a positive response will be received from both quarters soon.”
The Ex-Co of the Amateur Sepaktakraw Association of Sri Lanka unanimously elected it’s senior member Saman Priyankara as the new Secretary General with effect from June 24 this year until the next biennial general meeting of the association, where the appointment would be ratified due to the sudden resignation of the former secretary. Saman Priyankara is a sportsman from Balangoda and currently functions as the Operations Manager of CR&FC at Longdon Place, Colombo 7. He has represented the Association Sepaktakraw team at the King’s Cup World Sepaktakraw Championship held in Chiang-Mai, Thailand 2010 and is well conversant with all aspects of the game apart from his administrative professionalism.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Priyankara said the first priority would to select a viable permanent training court for men and women players selected by the association for orientation programmes, foreign tours, etc. He added that the Sports Ministry affiliation, which is due any moment, the association would target schools, the armed forces and the police to bolster the standard and skill levels of the current crop of players.
“Once we have established a strong base we intend to get a foreign coach to fine-tune the players initially for a period of six months depending on the assistance ear-marked from the Sports Ministry and possibly the NOC,” concluded Saman Priyankara.