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Bid to develop basketball in Kandy District

The Bogambara Stadium in Kandy was developed at a cost of Rs. 89 million in just three months in 1997. The government gave only Rs. 14 million and the rest of the funds required was found through various sources by the Kandy District Sports Development Foundation said the former Deputy Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Kandy District Development Foundation General Anurudda Ratwatte.

He made these observations when he addressed the gathering at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the men's and women's and schools and clubs basketball championship organised by the Foundation in conjunction with the Kandy YMCA and the Kandy District Basketball Association and held at Trinity College courts in Kandy.

General Anuruddha Ratwatte said that the Bogambara Stadium was developed for the benefit of sportsmen and sportswomen and to develop sports in the Kandy District. But the Bogambara Stadium has not seen much progress after it was develop by the Foundation.

In fac it is being not run the way it should be.

The Foundation has decided to take over the Bogambara Stadium sometime next year to achieve the objectives for it was developed.

General Anuruddha Ratwatte said that when the YMCA approached them for funds to conduct the Kandy District Basketball Championship, the Kandy District Sports Development Foundation readiliy agreed to assist them and gave them the sponsorship. But they must also explore sources to generate their own funds.

General Anuruddha Ratwatte said that Kandy District Sports Development Foundation was formed in the nineties as a Non Governmental Organisation under the Ministry of Sports and he is happy of all the Foundations which was formed at that time, Kandy District is most active. President of the Kandy YMCA Paster Donald Fernando said that the game of basketball was first played in America in 1891 and it was brought to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) by the Colombo YMCA.

This game was introduced to Kandy by Kandy YMCA a long time ago. Since then this sport has enjoyed immense popularity in the hill capital with schools and clubs playing it. It is a sport which could played by both men and women. It is one of the fastest sports where a not only one's agility but also quick thinking plays a major role.

Pastor Donald Fernando thanked General Anuruddha Ratwatte and Kandy District Sports Development Foundation for coming forward to sponsor this championship which had seen over 100 matches being played on two days providing the spectators with thrills and spills.

The President of the Kandy District Basketball Association M. Jayawardena proposed the vote of thanks.

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