SriLankan Airlines’ sportsmen and women have made a top level re-entry into the sports arena, with a huge haul of medals, at the recent Mercantile Athletics Championship. The SriLankan team had a haul of 27 gold, 19 silver and 19 bronze medals at the Championship, making them clear winners.
Earlier this month, the airline’s men’s badminton team won the 16th Travel Trade Badminton Championships.
This winning streak will act as a confidence booster for the airline’s sportsmen and women, as they plan to re-enter local sports, fielding teams in cricket, rugby, soccer, basketball, Elle, volleyball, netball, swimming, athletics and badminton.
“Sports and participating in the correct spirit, is vital to any organisation. It builds team spirit, cutting across all levels of employees with a single minded, clear, passionate motive - the will and skill to win,” said Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Kekulawala, who is the driving force of this revival.
The airlines’ core business of operating a profitable airline, is becoming a greater challenge every day, with more and more airlines and budget carriers entering the fray in south Asia and south east Asia alone. The airline also has to deal with tremendous challenges from fluctuating fuel costs, which is a large component of its operating cost.
The dedication, practice and the will to win at competitive sports, gives the employees the right spirit and qualities to work in a highly competitive airline industry, with the single minded goal of making profits.
The airline has nearly 5000 employees most of them highly skilled, professionals in their respective disciplines including pilots, engineers, cabin staff, accountants, marketing and sales staff, IT engineers etc. The motivation, high spirit, comradeship and competitiveness, which are shared on the sports fields, overcome all odds to win. The airline’s staff are called upon to display the essence of these qualities used to win at sports, in a similar winning formula at work, in a tremendous team effort, to give that leading edge to our national airline and make it profitable operation.
“We need to take the company forward. Teaming and winning is the only option,” Kekulawala added.
The revival of sports in the airline, has acted as a huge adrenalin boost to the staff who have all shifted to top gear, ready to race to victory, in their respective sport. “This is the essence of revitalisation and killer instinct we want to infuse into our core business of running a profitable airline,” Patron of the Sports Club and Chief Marketing Officer SriLankan Airlines G.T. Jeyaseelan said.
“I am delighted to witness the re-launch of sports at SriLankan Airlines. I firmly believe that sport is an essential component to build competitiveness and camaraderie, as well building such qualities as leadership, planning, teambuilding, etc. among our staff. These are essential elements that we must have for the success of our Company,” he added.
The airline’s sports teams will participate in most of the mercantile tournaments this year and will also compete in some regional and International events. The airline’s sports festival will be held this March.