Colombo, 13th May 2017; The national team’s 6-day residential training camp at the Centre of Excellence – Kandy ahead of the Champions Trophy 2017 draws to its successful culmination with a practice game on Sunday (14) before the team returns to Colombo for three well-deserved days off with their families prior to departing Colombo on the 18th .
The program that was spread across an intense schedule of sessions focused on specialty training, strength training & conditioning, altitude training, team building & motivation, strategic simulation & analytical sessions and specialist sessions with the bat, ball and on the field.
The sessions conducted by SLC’s panel of expert coaches were both practical and theoretical, and included group-centric activities such as quizzes and quickfire sessions as well as strategic discussions. Individual players were also given the opportunity for focused one-on-one training to hone their technique & skills.
Speaking on the success of the camp, skipper Mathews stated;
“A residential atmosphere like this where we can dedicate a 100% to our game is an essential part of preparation going into an important tournament like this. Over the past months many of us have not been able to play together consistently as a team due to injury or other factors, so working together like this and learning to work with and around each other’s strengths is a great thing”
“The scope of facilities at Pallakelle has made this a truly successful program. Working in these professional conditions is truly a bonus, and the technology made available to us in real time Indoor [Nets] has really helped us hone our skills, I can’t wait till the Centre is completed, it will be a benchmark” he concluded. (Angelo Mathews)
Team Manager Asanka Gurusinha was also happy with the facilities at the CoE and commented;
“With the festive season of Vesak at hand just ahead of this tour, I am really pleased that President [SLC] initiated this residential program so that we have the players all focused and dedicated completely, which obviously would be a challenge in Colombo.”
“There’s no way we could have achieved the desired results if not for the range of facilities here, so I for one am very happy with this facility and for the use we’ve made of it.” (Asanka Gurusinha)
The Centre of Excellence at the Pallakelle International Stadium was declared open on the 9th May by the Minister of Sport, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekera.
Its first phase which consists of a state-of-the-art 5-strip Indoor facility with real time biometrics, a floodlit outdoor practice wicket (10 strips), a fully equipped gymnasium with Ice & Hot bath facilities, and dedicated Physio facilities for injury management, recovery and recuperation, was completed at a cost of ~ Rs. 43 Million. The second phase is set to consist of a covered swimming pool with dedicated injury management and recovery areas and international standard residential facilities.
SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva explained the concept of the Centre of Excellence stating that SLC would be constructing 3 more such Centres in Colombo, Galle and Dambulla.
“These 4 locations have been identified as our ‘Super Provinces’ and the International stadiums will function as the base for our fully equipped and state of the art Centres of Excellence. These Centres of Excellence will serve as the catalyst for R&D and training facilities for players who make the grade up the ladder in the particular districts that are identified as belonging to that particular Super Province. A total of 22 Districts have been identified and assigned in this way”
“With the stringent cost controls and systems of management in place, I am pleased that the first phase of the Kandy CoE has been completed at less than the initially estimated cost in 2015, which incidentally was an estimated Rs. 53 Million for the structure of a 3-strip Indoor Net only”
“The National Development Program is headed by President SLC, Thilanga Sumathipala, and his vision is that every talented and deserving Sri Lankan should have the opportunity to play for the country – this system of talent identification, development and management from grassroots upward is truly a legacy” (Ashley de Silva)