Sri Lanka Badminton pursues professional status of Elite Players!SOORIYA shines on Thilini & CIC VETCARE secures Ranthushka! Last Thursday, the 07 October was an auspicious day for Sri Lanka Badminton! With their sights set on a professional course for their Elite athletes, SLB has been in long drawn out talks with the Ministry of Sports (MOS), as wel as with theNational Olympic Committee (NOC). As luck, would favor the brave, the MOS since Feb 2021 has provided a Tier 01 sponsorship package for BuwanekaGunetileke & Sachin Dias, the top Doubles Combination in Sri Lanka.SLB has over the last year or so, stepped up its training regime with ful-timetraining programs for its elite athletes at the dedicated stadium premises. Apart from on-court and physical training, a customized nutrition program has beenintroduced to ensure better body composition befitting top athletes. The EliteAthletes have been paid a stipend to help them meet training and welfareexpenses while an overseas international competition schedule is about to getunderway in a few days!NOC has now stepped into the breach & secured lucrative sponsorships for twomore elite Badminton athletes, Thilini Hendahewa & Ranthushka Karunatilake.Sun Match (Ceylon) Ltd., with their SOORIYA brand of safety matches takes on thewelfare of Thilini while CIC Vetcare has picked Ranthushka, both meticulouslyselected after careful evaluation by NOC marketing consultant, Dr. RohanthaAthukorala. What is special in this sports sponsorship package is the model chosen by NOC in colaboration with SLB, to provide a personal development module and a hands-on mentoring scheme that wil ensure that these athletes are offered the meansto explore their ful sports potential but also the means to enhance the quality oftheir personal lives. Gowri Rajan, the marketing head of Sooriya & Ajith Weerasinghe the MD of Vetcare could not be present due to personal commitments, but NOC Chief Suresh Subramaniam and SLB Treasurer Mangala Gamage did the honors signing the two agreements on behalf of the athletes, moderated by Dr. Rohantha. ThiliniHendahewa was indisposed and was not present but Ranthushka carried theprogram for the athletes, heralding a new paradigm for Badminton in Sri Lanka.