30th November 2019 19:32:58 Hours
The precursor to the forthcoming mega National Netball Championship, scheduled during 14-15 December at Anuradhapura Public Grounds, the Junior National Netball Championship 2019 commenced this morning (30) at the Sports Ministry's Torrington Grounds, Colombo where the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva as the Chief Guest inaugurated the tournament, powered by Dialog Axiata PLC.
The junior tournament, competed by Netball players under 21 years from across the country aims to develop the talent pool to feed the national squad in the future and screen potential best players. It will continue till 7 December as per guidelines laid down by the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Sports.
The day's Chief Guest after a warm welcome was introduced to a selective section of those junior players before the first round of a match kicked off in the presence of guests and Ministry officials. The preliminary round of the junior tournament will be played in a league structure with 20 minutes, allocated per game, split into two halves which will narrow down all 36 teams to 16. Afterwards from the round two onward the tourney will be played on a knockout basis. However, third place matches and the finals are to be played with 40 minutes per game split into four segments.
Ms. Lakshmi Victoria, President, Netball Federation of Sri Lanka with a few players warmly welcomed the day's chief guest, together with coaches and organizers.
Commander of the Army in his brief congratulatory speech said that the netball players from across the country have an opportunity to display their talents and skills in this tournament before being selected to the national pool and took the opportunity to extend his appreciation to Dialog Axiata for extending their support in 2019 as well for the second consecutive year. Without corporate backing the Netball Federation would find it almost impossible to conduct tourneys of this magnitude, the day's Chief Guest added wishing all competitors the best of luck.