The Minister speaking at an event to mark 20 years since national athlete Susanthika Jayasinghe claimed an Olympic silver medal yesterday said 25 sports schools will be developed as planned.
Minister Rajapaksa noted a synthetic running track of 130m will also be provided to 10 of the sports schools while all sports schools will be provided with necessary gym and accommodation facilities.
The Sports Minister said a programme will be launched at district level to admit students to sports schools.
The Minister added most parents are of the opinion that students will not focus on studies if they engage in sports while students also miss out on tuition if they engage in sports, according to the current education system.
Minister Rajapaksa stated students miss out on sports due to the competitive nature of the present education system based on exams.
The Sports Minister however requested parents to encourage their children to engage in sports and to give attention to their health and wellbeing.
Minister Rajapaksa noted there are various methods at present to study while engaging in sports.
Meanwhile Susanthika Jayasinghe also speaking at the event said anyone can speak up about sports today without any fear, adding the new Minister of Sports is someone who understands the challenge and effort involved in sports.
She noted that 12 years has passed since she retired from sports, remarking that four subject Ministers had come and gone during this time.
Jayasinghe said the Ministers had implemented many plans for the betterment of sports in the island, however they had not succeeded.
She stressed that one of the reasons such initiatives failed was that those who are attempting to implement such plans must be those who know the struggled and challenge of sports themselves.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsradio.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)