25th November 2017 18:58:50 Hours
Differently-able Army athletes, numbering more than 450 who showcased their unparalleled sports skills during their landmark three-day long ‘20th Army Para Games - 2017’ brought the tournament to end at Diyagama Stadium Friday (24) afternoon after creating glimmers of new hopes among War Heroes.
The tournament that covered track and field events came to a climax with athletic and relay events taking the centre-stage in the past three days (November 22-24).
Friday’s closing ceremony assumed greater importance with the arrival of the day’s Chief Guest, Mr Kapila Waidyarathne PC, Secretary Defence showing a keen interest in the final closing ceremony on the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake.
The day’s Chief Guest was received on arrival at the venue by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, together with Chairman of the Army Para Sports Committee, Major General Dampath Fernando.
The multi-coloured band displays, presented by Army bands at the occasion, renting the air with soothing melodies added dignity and glamour to the event as all 450 plus participants lined up for the much-awaited prize awarding ceremony after participating in track and field events.
The Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) Regiment team emerged overall champions in all track and field events as cheers reverberated as the winners were announced.
It was the time for accolades. Lieutenant General Senanayake, together with the Chief Guest, congratulated each winner separately and gave away awards to them.
Impressed with athletic talents of our yesteryear War Heroes, Defence Secratary marking the conclusion of the Army Para Games 2017 read out the closing declaration of the event as dusk was gathering.
The entire three-day tournament showcased talents of those 800 plus War Heroes who have done their part for the country, a sacrifice that cannot be matched with any other.
The tournament was comprised of Track and Field events. Wheelchair Tennis, Cycling, Wheelchair Marathon, Volleyball, Hand Ball, Air Rifle Shooting, Archery, Badminton, Swimming, Long and High Jumps, Shot Puts, Javelin and Discus throwing, Power Lifting, Cricket, Beach Handball, Table Tennis, Weight-lifting, etc.
All these track and field events that lead to the final tournament in this year’s Army Para Games – 2017 commenced in the mid of July 2017 before final rounds took shape.
Colonel Raja Gunasekara, Secretary, Army Para Sports Committee raised the vote of thanks and praised the War Heroes for their excellent contribution to the success of the event.
The previous two-decade old Army Disable Sports Meet was re-named in 2010, to be called the Sri Lanka Army Para Games.
A large number of disabled War Heroes are anxiously waiting throughout the year to turn this platform to display their multiple sport talents in track and field events since it is one of the milestone events in the calendar of sports in the Army.
This year, a team of athletes from the Republic of Korea, including two internationally recognized athletes also participated in the tournament, together with their fellow-sportsmen in Sri Lanka.
A large gathering of spectators including state officials, senior Army Officers, family members of athletes and invitees were witness to the day’s final event.