President Mahinda to inaugurate first South Asian Beach Games Festival in Hambantota tomorrow
The first South Asian Beach Games Festival, in which 8 South Asian countries are participating, will be launched tomorrow by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the newly constructed Beach Stadium in the Hambantota beach. The games will be held until the 14th of this month.
The games will start at 6.30 p.m. tomorrow and only football matches will be played on the inaugural day. There will be 12 sports events in this Sports Festival. The beach sports will include volleyball, football, handball, swimming, netball, cricket, sailing, horse riding, lifesaving, kabadi, basketball, and bodybuilding.
Volleyball for men and women will be played at the beaches of Hambanthota, Tangalle, and Tissamaharama. Eight sports grounds for the events like badminton, Kabadi, Netball have been constructed especially for this festival. Arugam Bay, the famous surfing location in the Eastern Province will complement the games with swimming, sailing and surfing.
359 sportsmen and sportswomen from 8 South Asian countries are participating in this festival. On the first day tomorrow football matches will be held among the teams of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Maldives.
The Hambantota District Parliamentarian Mr. Namal Rajapaksa took a keen interest in getting this festival held in Sri Lanka, and the infrastructure development work was inaugurated by him in June this year. Minister Mr. Dilan Perera who is the President of Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation also played a major role in holding this event in Sri Lanka.
According to reports, thousands of people have already gathered in Hambantota, Tissamaharama, and Tangalla, the game locations to witness the games.
This festival will be precursor to strengthen Sri Lanka’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Already observer teams visited from the Commonwealth Games and have expressed satisfaction about the facilities available and under construction in Hambantota and its environs for the Commonwealth Games.
Australia is the other country bidding to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
South Asian Beach Sports Fund handled the construction of facilities for the Beach Games Festival, according to the planning by the Urban Development Authority.
- Asian Tribune -