|Launch of the 100 years Commemorative Stamp with |
the First Day Cover being presented to
British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris
Asia’s second oldest tennis
organization, the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) hosted a grand
felicitation ceremony and gala dinner to mark its 100th anniversary
esteemed dignitaries including British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James
Dauris, German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr. Jurgen Muhard, President of the
Asian Tennis Federation, Anil Khanna, and Secretary of the Asian Tennis
Federation, Suresh Subramaniam. Representatives of Sri Lanka’s tennis playing
fraternity especially a host of past andpresent champions and national-level
players were among the honoured guests at the event.
evening’s festivities, SLTA President, Iqbal Bin Issack sounded an optimistic
note for the future of tennis in Sri Lanka and called on all stakeholders to rally
together in developing Sri Lankan talent and taking local players to the
pinnacle of international tennis.
|Anil Khanna, President of the Asian Tennis Federation, |
addresses guests at the event
Tennis has come a long way. This year in particular was a great year, as we
celebrated our fifth consecutive berth at the Group 2 level at the Davis Cup
and Sri Lanka’s country ranking in the Davis Cup improved from 95 to 62 within ten
|Iqbal Bin Issack, President of the SLTA presents|
Outstanding Contribution Award to Harshana Godamanna
“It is now time to focus our
attention on taking the game to the next level by grooming professional tennis
players in Sri Lanka. It is only then can we dream of having Sri Lankans
playing in the Grand slam events and taking our country into the World Group at
the Davis Cup,” he noted.
the support of the Government, the business community and the tennis loving
public. This is our dream and I seek your support and encouragement to reach
these milestones and bring pride and honour to Sri Lanka,” he asserted.
|Iqbal Bin Issack, President of the SLTA presents |
Outstanding Contribution Award to Suresh Subramaniam
To that end, Issack noted that the
SLTA would be implementing an extensive restructuring of its coaching programme
and investing in the development if its players, coaches and officials with a
particular focus on development of tennis academies, and physical fitness
centers, all with a view to shaping professional career tennis players capable
of making an impact on the world stage.
to a brief presentation on the rich and storied history of the SLTA over the past
century. This was followed by the launching of the Centenary Publication of the
SLTA in honor of the occasion. The announcement of a Centenary High Performance
Fund initiative added emphasis to the future plans envisaged by the SLTA.
stamp and cover to mark the SLTA centenary was also launched at the event.
from the attending dignitaries, the SLTA held an Awards ceremony to felicitate
its past presidents along with all of Sri Lanka’s national tennis players,
including many legends of the game from years gone by.
also recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the
development of tennis in Sri Lanka over the years including two of the island’s
great Wheelchair Tennis players; Gamini Dissanayake and Upali Rajakaruna; both
of whom had made their mark at the international stage. The SLTA also
recognized the outstanding contributions of Mr. Gihan Perera, whose family has
supported Sri Lanka Tennis across two generations; Mr. Suresh Subramaniam a
former president of the SLTA, tennis player and coach who has led the way in
affecting a multitude of changes in developing Sri Lanka Tennis, and finally
Mr. Harshana Godamanna the only Sri Lankan to play at the professional level in
the last ten years, and the country’s most successful Davis Cup player.
commended as being a grand success with event attendees heaping praise on the
event organizers for their efforts in completely transforming the venue for the
evening while President of the Asian Tennis Federation, Anil Khanna noting that
the evening was among the best that he had witnessed even at the international
remarkable 100-year milestone, it is anticipated that the game of tennis will
continue to grow in popularity. With a noticeable ramping up of tournaments
being hosted in Sri Lanka with international participation, it is expected that
the game could potentially open up new tourist markets – particularly in light
of the generally higher levels of affluence enjoyed by players in the
international tennis circuit – while also generating fresh opportunities for
businesses to gain exposure as the island grows into a regular tennis fixture
in years to come.