Sports News

Jnr. Development Committee commences ‘Youth Awakening 2026’

With the aim of producing star-class athletes and gaining success in the international arena, the Junior Development Committee (JDC) appointed by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Sri Lanka is launching its operations under the programme “Youth Awakening 2026” to identify and support young sportsmen and sportswomen of the highest calibre.

The NOC briefed the future plans and responsibilities given to the JDC in a recent press release. 

“Youth Awakening 2026”, being the first of its kind, looks to provide young athletes with consistent and continuous mentorship and training through a comprehensive threefold strategy adapted by the JDC, through various programmes, direct athlete support, and funding, the statement read.

“When it comes to high performance, the highest-performing athletes in Sri Lanka rank far below high-performing athletes from the rest of the world. The strategy put together by the JDC is expected to pave the way to raise the standard of sports in Sri Lanka and allow our athletes to compete with the rest of the world,” said NOC Junior Development Committee Chairman Shirantha Peiris.

Through programmes created and developed to promote fundamental principles and values of Olympism in Sri Lanka, athletes could look forward to being connected with trainers, nutritionists, and sports psychologists who would play a key role in creating a healthy mindset and a positive approach toward their education, sports, and career, the statement read.  

Young, high-potential players are offered a unique advantage with the Direct Athlete Support Programme designed to identify and provide opportunities aimed to facilitate their development and expose them to the next level of their chosen pathway through school placement programmes and holistic sports training. 

Two interesting developments of the programme include a “Health cove”, where all JDC-contracted athletes will be provided with a free-of-charge medical cover for the duration of their contract as well as a “medal-incentive funding programme” that would promulgate State-funded grants or corporate-funded incentives to athletes who showcase the potential to win a medal in international games. 

The JDC stated that they take pride in this unparalleled and one-of-a-kind programme that is fully self-funded thereby reiterating its ethos which is to uplift athletics in Sri Lanka. The development of merchandise, marketing international competitions to attract sponsors, and sustainability initiatives are a few steps taken toward direct funding. 

While the JDC will truly awaken local athletes to their true potential through “Youth Awakening 2026”, Sri Lanka will see a continuity of top-notch athletes being produced, making it an unceasing revolution, the statement read, adding that this movement is an ever-advancing one that would resonate throughout in the face of Youth Olympics, Youth Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, etc., which presents itself as an excellent opportunity for corporates to add to their story and join hands with this exceptional initiative by dedicating themselves towards transforming the field of sports in Sri Lanka.