Schools Athletics Association is the most active athletics body, says Susantha Fernando


by Reemus Fernando

 Susantha Fernando, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association (SLSAA), said that his was the most active of all Associations and clubs affiliated to the Sri Lanka Athletics Association (SLAA) this year though some individuals with vested interests had tried to indicate otherwise, that too in vain.

The SLAA summoned seven of its affiliates including the Schools Athletics body to its headquarters on Tuesday to inquire about the respective AGMs and as to why some of the Associations had remained inactive throughout the year. According to some media reports the SLAA had listed SLSAA as an inactive Association along with six others. District Association of Ampara, Moneragala, Badulla, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee and the Track Masters were the other Associations summoned by the SLAA.

Fernando was responding to queries made by The Island with regard to the SLAA’s initiative.

"Everyone, including the Athletics Association, knows that we have been the most active member Association this year. But there are a few individuals within the Executive Committee who want to paint a bleak picture having ulterior motives. A representative from our Association went to the meeting. But that was to inform the mother body as to why we have not held our AGM so far. There are no other issues," said Fernando.

Asked as to why the Schools Athletics Association had not conducted their AGM so far, Fernando said that according to Education Ministry requirements they have to wait till the financial year ends to conduct the AGM. The Schools Athletics Association is also affiliated to the Ministry of Education.

"Associations affiliated to the Education Ministry are required to prepare their annual financial reports after the year ends on December 31 and they are required to conduct their AGMs before February 28. It has been the case right throughout," said Fernando.

When inquired from G. L. S. Perera, the media spokesman of the SLAA, he said that SLSAA was one of the active members and denied listing them as an inactive member Association.

SLSAA conducted two schools championships, namely the Sir John Tarbet Junior and Senior Athletics Championships successfully with the former ‘attracting close to 6000’ participants. Susantha said that apart from conducting championships the SLSAA also conducted as many as five programmes for its PTIs and coaches to upgrade their knowledge on coaching, at Kalutara, Moneragala, Badulla, Gampaha and Ampara.

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