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Sponsors President's Gold Cup tourney:

Dialog assures future of VB

OVER five thousand Volleyballers from 400 clubs in the island are geared up to participate at the President's Volleyball Gold Cup Tournament to be played from June 18.

The tournament held after a lapse of six years is conducted by the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and sponsored by Dialog GSM.

Jeevan Kumaratunga, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports said that the game of volleyball was very popular in the country some years ago. Way back in 1991 volleyball was declared as the national sport of Sri Lanka but it was only name sake.

The Sports Minister added that with young Deputy Minister Dilan Perera at the helm of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation, the game is sure to reach greater heights.

It will be a big responsibility on Dilan Perera to put the game of volleyball on a better standard. He should combine with the media and sponsor to promote the game at the highest level," said the Sports Minister.

Minister Kumaratunga expressed his delight at the sponsorship. "I thank Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog GSM for sponsoring this tournament. Volleyball has been neglected and dialog GSM is giving the sport and its players much needed support and encouragement," he said.

Volleyball chief Dilan Perera said that its their first endeavour in holding the President's Gold Cup Tournament. The tournament will be played at district, provincial and national levels and no player is allowed to represent his or her club or work place but represent the district or the province.

Minister Perera added that this is the first time big cash awards (rupees one lakhs) will be presented to the champions in addition to the glittering trophy.

The Volleyball boss thanked Dialog GSM for coming forward to sponsor this tournament. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya CEO of Dialog GSM said his company was committed to supporting and uplifting volleyball in the long-term.

Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, Deputy Minister of Sports said that the President's Volleyball Gold Cup Tournament will enable them to pick best Volleyballer both men and women for the South Asian Games to be held in Colombo next year.

Perera said that in a short period they have begun the task of developing and promoting the game of volleyball and he hoped that with his band of officials he will succeed.

The Deputy Minister added that Dialog GSM will be behind the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation for the promotion of the game.

Dr. Wijayasuriya said that their establishment started in a small way and are today a major sponsor of Sri Lanka Sport. Dialog GSM is committed to developing Sri Lanka sporting talent to international standards.

The company has sponsored national contingents to the Olympics, Peralympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Asian Athletic Championships and the SAAF Games. The company is also closely associated with School Cricket, Football, Rugby Football, Disabled Sports and Rowing.

"We are proud to sponsor volleyball too. The sponsorship has enabled the President's Volleyball Gold Cup to be reinvigorated after a lapse of six years," said Dr. Wijayasuriya.

The matches in the District level will be worked off on June 18, 19, 25 and 26 and the winners will be eligible to play at Provincial level.

The matches in the Provincial Level will be played on July 2 and 3. The champions and runner-up in both men's and women's will qualify to play in the National Level. The National Level game will be played on July 11 to 17 at the NYSC indoor stadium at Maharagama.

The finals will be played in the first week in August at NYSC indoor stadium, Maharagama. The National winners will walk away with President's Gold Cup and Rs. 100,000, the runner-up and third place will receive Dialog GSM Challenge Trophies and Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 25,000 respectively.

The District and Provincial teams will be vying for Dialog GSM Challenge Trophies Provincial winner will receive Rs. 10,000, runner-up Rs. 7,500. District winners and runners up will receive Rs. 7,500 and 5,000 respectively.

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