NPC to form 30-member pool for Asian Para Games | Daily News

NPC to form 30-member pool for Asian Para Games

Dinesh Priyantha Herath  (Bronze Medallist)
Dinesh Priyantha Herath (Bronze Medallist)

The National Paralympic Committee (NPC) is set to form a 30-member pool while targeting the Asian Para Games in 2022.

This was disclosed by the newly-elected President of the NPC Lt. Colonel Deepal Herath.

Lt. Col. Deepal Herath
 (NPC President) 

Meanwhile, three athletes from track and field, one each from archery and rowing have already qualified for the Paralympic Games from August 24 to September 5 in Tokyo, Japan.

The NPC President said that they hope another 3-4 athletes would qualify for the Paralympic Games direct or through the wildcard system.

“We have a problem in competing at international events due to the pandemic but rower Mahesh Jayakody completed the qualification at the recent Asian and Oceania Qualifier in Tokyo,” he stressed.

“We are already planning for the next Asian Para Games. Last time Sri Lanka won 15 medals at the Jakarta Para Asian Games and next time we want to win more medals,” he emphasised.

Herath is no stranger to the Paralympic Committee. He was a former para badminton player from 2010 and later he was appointed Executive Member of the NPC.

He was also the Head of Sports of the NPC. He is a very active official having already toured several countries as Manager of the Sri Lanka Paralympic Team.

“I know what kind of difficulties we had those days as a player. Compared with the able athletes we have more difficulties but all para athletes are really determined,” he commented.

“Finding sponsorships for these athletes are always a big issue as most of them are from the Army who are affected because of the war,” he said.

“However, Pradeep Sanjaya won the 400m T46 Bronze Medal at the London Paralympic Games in 2012 while Dinesh Priyantha Herath won the Bronze Medal in the javelin throw F46 event at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.”

“This time also we are expecting medals according to their standards at world ranking. Priyantha once again reached the qualification mark while Samitha Dulan has qualified from the javelin throw F44 event.”

“The previous NPC officials headed by Major General Rajitha Ampemohotti maintained a 16-member residential pool at Torrington in preparation for the Paralympic Games. We have to continue with that and give all facilities to the athletes.”

“I think para athletes have a big issue with no domestic level competitions for them to gain experience,” he lamented.

“We have already planned to conduct the Para Athletic National Championship in March/April next year and we also have an idea to conduct badminton, powerlifting, rowing and shooting competitions for para athletes.”

“The main idea is to form a national pool in preparation for the Asian Para Games with the assistance from the Sports Ministry,” he concluded.

NPC office-bearers for 2022/2023:

President: Lt Col. Deepal Herath. Secretary: Col. Bandula Bandara. Vice-President’s: Brig. Dananjaya Aludeniya and Priyantha Pieris.

Treasurer: Dilini Wariyapola. Assistant Secretary: Rasanjalee Pathirage. Assistant Treasurer: Nalani Ranasinghe.