By T.B. Rahaman
The ever growing popular volleyball among school children, the DSI Supersport Schools Volleyball Championship will begin with the district level today.
The venues for today are Vavuniya Muslim MV ground and the Kekirawa Public ground.DSI that has become the number one footwear with this popular tournament is sponsoring for the 13th successive year. When they began supporting volleyball at school level in 1999 only 198 teams participated and the number of teams expected this year will be over 5000 with more than 60,000 players involved.
The aim of the management of DSI, Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVF) and the Ministry of Education is to take the game to the villages and increase the number of teams to 5000 in 10 years time. This ambition has been achieved and the game is now played in every corner of the country including North and East. Now the school children eagerly await this tournament to begin every year. The tournament is held for children in the age groups of under-14, 16 and 18 years.
This year there will be teams from the North and East also participating and this has contributed to the increase in the number of teams. The main reason for this is because these children will go on to represent the country in this sport in the future. Already most of the national players of today are those who played in this DSI Supersport Schools Volleyball Championship.
Minister Dilan Perera, SLVF President said that the game has become very successful as it has grown in popularity. After DSI came in to support the game it has grown in the number of participation and the standard too has reached a higher level than when it started. This is why Sri Lanka can now hold its own in international tournaments.
Besides the main tournament a Superkids Fiesta (U-12) tournament will also be conducted concurrently. It has attracted over 1000 teams and will also be conducted at provincial and national levels.
The District level matches will be held from June 9 to 22, the Provincial level matches will be from 23 June to 3 July and the national level matches are scheduled to be played from 8-10 July. The grand finale is scheduled to take place on the last week of July.