First phase of ‘Fitness Clubs’ program launched

Thursday, 19 November 2020 00:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa who presided over a function held at the auditorium of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to launch the first phase of the ‘Fitness Clubs’ program addresses the gathering

The first phase of the ‘Fitness Clubs’ program aimed at promoting fitness activities among the people and establishing a sports culture in the country to reduce the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases was launched on Tuesday with active fitness training for walking lanes in the Western Province by Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa who presided over a function held at the auditorium of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said, “We hope to expand the number of walking lanes constructed in various areas so far and more than 1,000 proposed walking lanes throughout the Budget. The biggest challenge we have is the lack of a system to regulate and supervise these coaches. For example, every other sport has a national association, a national association with a sports association. These coaches have grade qualification as a coach nationally or internationally. But the problem is, how many fitness centers are there in Sri Lanka? Its coaches can’t figure out how to qualify. We hope to gather information on this in a systematic manner next year.”

“What should the Ministry of Sports do for coaches like you around Torrington, who do a great job of providing fitness training as well as mental well-being to the most frequent national and international athletes? We are here today as a starting point to discuss what is the best way to do this, what actions can be taken to improve the situation, and what needs to be done at the state level to further enhance your service,” the Minister continued.

The coaches discussed the difficulties they faced in carrying out their duties. The focus was on developing a ranking program through bar examinations of their professionalism and knowledge, issuing a recognised identity card, assigning an athlete to one coach and becoming that athlete’s physical exercise coach, and modernising the required lanes with a synthetic running track.

Following the discussion, it was proposed to implement the National Fitness Program, to educate the public on the value of fitness, to train coaches in a systematic manner and to give them social recognition, and to conduct motivational activities to increase public participation in the gym.

Director General of the Sports Development Department Amal Edirisuriya, Director of Sports IP Wijeratne, Director General of the Sports Medicine Institute Lal Ekanayake and a group of fitness trainers from the Colombo area were present at the occasion.