The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka - Crysbro Next Champ held an Athletes’ Skills Development Programme – 2021 over the last four months on various topics for the Next Champ scholarship holders. This programme was created to enhance the junior athletes’ skills and prepare them for their international competitions.
The main objective of the program is to develop athletes’ skills, such as English language level, leadership, sport disciplines, and related knowledge. This would be an excellent opportunity for athletes to forge a more successful career in sports. All the selected Next Champ scholarship holders were part of the programme.
There were eight sessions in this programme consisting of basic English for athletes, leadership and teamwork, communication skills, preparation of resume, Olympism and Olympic values, competition preparation, basic English writing skills, and an interactive session with the global sport managers. These sessions were facilitated by Mr. Shehan Ambepitiya, Ms. Hansika Wijayagunasekara, Mr. Gobinath Sivarajah, Ms. Charuni Dissanayake, and Ms. Dinkey Bandara. The last session was led by the Global Sport Managers: Ms. Zaya Yadamdorj of Mongolia, Mr. Derrick Ntege of Uganda, Ms. Kaji Krichena of India, and Ms. Xueying Ma (Michelle) of China. They have shared their sport experience and inspirational stories with our junior athletes.
At the closing ceremony of the programme, the president of NOC Sri Lanka, Mr. Suresh Subramaniam emphasized that every athlete has to focus on what they want to achieve in their career, which is really important. At the end of the programme, the athletes who had fulfilled the requirements of the course were issued certificates.
Dhanushan, a junior golfer, commented on the programme “As an athlete, this programme changed me as a knowledgeable athlete who got to know a lot of necessary information about the sport. The effort that was put in by the NOC Sri Lanka is really fantastic. It was a pleasure to be a part of this skills development programme.”
“This is a great move by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka when it comes to nurturing the NextGen athletes. We should all learn from them,” one of the global sport managers of this programme, Derrick Ntege, said.
One of the session facilitators, Shehan Ambepitiya who won three gold medals in a Youth Commonwealth Games described the programme that, “The young athletes we focus on through this program are national assets and the future of our country. This is not just another program that funds athletes to continue their sports, but a program that develops their skills and teaches them how to win in life in a competitive world. I do believe that thousands of youths in our country will be motivated to participate in and continue sports as a profession in the future.”
One of the global sport managers of the programme Zaya Yadamdorj, World Universiade Shooting Champion tweeted, “Great to see how NOC Sri Lanka contributes to the next generation of athletes through various effective programs. I really enjoyed the session. All the bests to the young athletes and the Sri Lanka NOC team.”