22nd February 2018 18:59:27 Hours
Inter Regiment Athletic Meet - 2018, the year's pride of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF), producing several new game records ended this evening (22) in a grand show of colour and new hopes at Diyagama Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium.
Organized with pomp and pageantry to match with international standards, the closing ceremony of the SLAVF Inter Regiment Athletic Meet - 2018 was graced by Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest at the invitation of Major General Piyal Wickramaratne, Commandant, SLAVF, the heavyweight behind making it a huge success.
Upon a warm welcome extended to the day's Chief Guest on arrival, the Commander of the Army was ushered to witness final rounds of several athletic events as the mega event was reaching its climax.
Major General Piyal Wickramaratne, Commandant, SLAVF welcomed the gathering in his brief address and traced the SLAVF history and its unique sports achievements. Giving a warm welcome to the Commander of the Army and all attendees, he praised the cooperation given to him by all participants in the three-day tournament.
A few more than 750 Army athletes, representing all volunteer Regiments in the Army vied in the tournament against their fellow-athletes as keen sportsmen and women of the Army while showcasing their high standards of professional sportsmanship.
Comprised of forty eight track and field events, the annual meet mirrored the enthusiasm Army sportsmen have in Marathon races and relays, Long distance running, High and Long Jumps, Shot Puts, Javelin, Discus throwing and an array of other different athletic events. The tournament reached its zenith after initial competitions got underway before competitors took part in final rounds.
The day's final programme covered events, such as 400m Women's Final, 1500 m Men's Final, 100 m Women's Final, 100 m Men's Final, Physical Training Display, Tug of War Women's Final, Tug of War Men's Final, 4×100 m Women's Final and the 4×400 m Men's Final. A separate spectacular Cultural Show and a March Past added spirits of sportsmanship and provided a great time of rejoicing to the attendees.
Instructors at the Panagoda Army Physical Training School (APTS) meanwhile contributed to the closing ceremony by staging an impressive combined spectacle of physical training of high standards as the gathering burst into a roaring applause.
Band displays and a March Past by all participants made the event further colourful and rhythmic as patriotic melodies began to rend the air.
In the Men’s category, athletes of the Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME) shone brilliantly securing the first place with 284 points while Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) athletes won the second place with 211 points.
Recruit L.G Dananjaya of SLEME and Lance Corporal E.M.M Ratnakumari of 5 Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (SLAWC) were adjudged the Best Male and the Female Athlete in the Meet - 2018.
The day's Chief Guest was afterwards invited to award medals and trophies to achievers in the tournament. After distribution of trophies, Lieutenant General Senanayake congratulated the achievers in person and highlighted the importance of collective sportsmanship in his remarks to the occasion.
The formal closure of the mega event announced by the Commander of the Army after lowering of flags to suit the military traditions and formalities.