AHF’s USD 10,000 boosts Sri Lanka’s women’s hockey

Hockey photo

In a historic move, the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) has bestowed a financial grant of USD 10,000 upon the Sri Lanka Women’s Hockey Team. The funds were distributed equally among the players in a special ceremony held at the Hockey Federation Headquarters in Colombo 7 on Tuesday, graced by the presence of State Minister of Sports Rohana Dissanayake.

This grant, a first from AHF to Sri Lanka, serves as a gesture of honor and appreciation for the remarkable performance of the Sri Lanka Women’s Hockey Team in the 2022 June Jakarta Asian Games Qualifying Round. Despite facing financial challenges in the country, the team secured qualification for the 2023 Asian Games.

The initiative originated during the Asian Hockey Federation Congress in Seoul, South Korea, in March of this year. Sri Lanka Hockey Federation President P. Vishwanathan engaged in discussions with AHF President, highlighting the financial difficulties faced by Sri Lanka, despite both men’s and women’s teams qualifying for the Asian Games. AHF acknowledged their dedication during the Asian Games Qualifier Tournament in Indonesia in 2022.

During the AHF Congress, the Sri Lanka Women’s Hockey Team was recognized for their outstanding participation in the Qualifier Tournament held in Indonesia in 2022. The AHF President praised their commitment during the qualifying round and announced the award of USD 10,000, along with two trophies, for the team.

The funds, transferred to the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation account last month, amounted to approximately Rs 3.2 million (Rs 3,269,900/-). In a commendable move, Sri Lanka Hockey Federation allocated Rs 184,000 to each member of the 18-member women’s hockey team. Federation President P. Vishwanathan ensured swift fund disbursement before the festive season.

Reflecting on the challenges faced during the Qualifying Round in Indonesia, Hockey President P. Vishwanathan cited economic crises in the country and a lack of funds in the Hockey Federation. Despite these challenges, the team managed to participate with support from individual player contributions and the National Olympic Committee’s fund contribution to the Asian Hockey Federation.

Unfortunately, financial problems led to the decision that both the Sri Lanka men’s and women’s hockey teams, although qualified, couldn’t participate in the 2023 Asian Games in China. This decision was made collectively by the National Sports Council, National Selection Committee, NOC, and the Sports Ministry.

Sri Lanka Women’s Hockey Team Roster:

  1. GGP Nilmni (Captain)
  2. SS Jones (Vice Captain)
  3. MJAP Upeksha
  4. Shanika Prabhashini
  5. PK de Silva
  6. T Kirushanthini
  7. SC Kumari
  8. NK Wijeratne
  9. Ishara Fernando
  10. IM Ratnayake
  11. NS Warigadehetti
  12. Neeliya Kaushini
  13. AK Atipola
  14. Dewdu Samudra
  15. Dilhara Perera
  16. NS Silva
  17. Thamashi Gurudeniya
  18. KV Kaluarachchi.
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