Minister dispenses poetic justice
Discipline should always come first. Be it in sports or otherwise,
discipline is a vital ingredient in making a complete person.
In sports, discipline is one of the most important aspects which all
competitors should have. That would also enable them to strategically
overcome their opponents. You may be the most versatile player with
inborn talent but if you are not disciplined that would not help you to
sharpen your skills. In short, discipline makes a significant
contribution in making champions.
The Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVF) has taken a stern decision
against the captain, coach and players of the Sri Lanka women’s
volleyball team for misbehaving during their recent nine-nation
tournament in Vietnam. They have been banned following an appalling case
The male coach of the Lankan women’s volleyball team, Aruna Shantha
has been banned for ten years from taking part in any activity relating
to the sport. Sri Lanka skipper Chandima Akarawita has been removed from
captaincy for a two-year period. The duo have been found guilty of a
serious breach of discipline.
The Lankan national coach Shantha was found guilty of breaching the
rules by allegedly being in the room of a female player. Akarawita lost
her status due to an alleged “unacceptable relationship with a teammate,
who was severely warned.
Lady chaperone Rangika Udawatte too was severely warned for failing
to discharge her duties properly and maintain discipline.
President of the Volleyball Federation and Justice Minister Dilan
Perera should be commended for taking that bold decision. A ‘no
nonsense’ man who shows a genuine interest to promote the national
sport, Minister Perera has set an example by being firm on this matter.
The governing body for Volleyball took those tough disciplinary
actions last weekend after Minister Perera threatened to step down if
the officials fail to take strict action against those who have
Stressing the importance of maintaining discipline at all times,
Minister Perera appointed a high-profile committee which has recommended
the bans after investigating the allegations.
Everybody who values discipline should also commend the bold
decisions of the committee comprising Rohan Somawansa, SSP Priyantha
Jayakody, Mahinda Bandara, K. Jayatissa and Amaradasa Liyanage, who have
also recommended ten rules and regulations for coaches.
We cannot care for big names when it comes to discipline. One may be
the most experienced or versatile player in the team but when it comes
to discipline all are governed by the same rules that governs even the
babe of the side.
The Volleyball Federation’s decision should be a good eye opener to
all. It has been taken in good faith and would hold to discipline
players on future tours. That would also help to increase performance of
our players on future tours.
Minister Dilan Perera and his team, led by Vice President Bandara
Herath, have been working hard to uplift the standard of Sri Lanka
volleyball. It’s the duty of all who love the national sports to rally
round them and make their own contributions forgetting personal
There is a significant improvement in the domestic competition
structure. Our players now get more opportunities to compete at
different levels. Still, there is room for improvement.
Most youth who take to Volleyball are not from the elite class. Many
of them are from rural families but only have their talent to offer.
Hence, it is important to have a long-term plan to identify raw talent
and groom them for future.
Different levels of pools - national, intermediate and junior, should
be maintained in a systematic and organised manner. One cannot run
national pools just for the sake of doing so. All needs of the poolists
should be looked into.
Especially the members of the national pool should be given all
possible assistance. Their employment and grievances should be looked
into. That is how we could keep them in a good frame of mind. That would
make way for the players to make 100% devotion and commitment to their
Volleyball is a sport which could easily be played in any corner of
the island with minimum infrastructure facilities. Hence, we can find
enough and more raw talent in villages.
There should be a long-term plan to get down those talented students
to popular schools in the main cities and afford them an opportunity to
sharpen their skills.
Their progress should be closely monitored through a development
programme and once they leave school, they should be absorbed into an
intermediate pool, which could serve as the feeder pool to Sri Lanka
Having Minister Perera is a blessing as most of these projects could
be implemented through his good office. We appreciate the keen interest
shown by the Minister but that alone is not going to take our volleyball
to greater heights.
All those who are involved in volleyball should forget their personal
differences and petty club politics and work for the betterment of the
game. That is the only way we could look for our rightful place in the
Asian Volleyball arena.