April 14, 2024


Day With badminton

Rohan de Silva: Corruption and swindling not his game

6 min read

The one time System racer now operates a difficulty-free badminton affiliation that has built him a position model and his entity a slash over the corruption-riddled sports activities bodies in Sri Lanka:

It is the norm in Sri Lanka for athletics officials of national sporting activities bodies to hang on to the reins of electric power as if their quite lives or most likely their livelihood depended on it. Like so-referred to as ‘honourable’ politicians who feed on the misery of their electorate projecting on their own as messiahs, sports activities directors adorn the ‘honorary’ title to demonstrate they are keeping office for the reason that they want to provide the sport they like.

Of class there is no point out of the perquisites, international outings, standing image or the funds obtained in the name of enhancement. It is very uncommon to find selfless people who are fully commited and are not greedy for ability.

Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) president Rohan de Silva, a dynamic entrepreneur and business practitioner with about 40 a long time of encounter in varied company activities, is 1 these exception. He took demand when the activity was in the doldrums and plagued by inner squabbles being operate by an interim committee in advance of elections have been termed by the Sports Minister. Though the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from executing extra for the activity, he finished the chaos that prevailed bringing sanity and respectability to the method in which SLB functioned. Much more importantly he injected a great deal necessary money by securing company sponsors to shore up the sport.

Getting completed his mission for which he was elected to office, Rohan de Silva does not want to overstay his invitation. Although there are requests for him to continue on as SLB President, he feels there are able folks who can consider in excess of the baton and keep on the restructuring process which he initiated.

“There are seven VPs (vice presidents) who are extremely superior in awareness of the sport and administration. All of them had a major downside mainly because they could not get the sponsors. That’s why I will signal up in advance of I stage down formally for 3 decades with sponsors, of course with specified situations. Shelling out ought to be for the match and not welfare,” mentioned De Silva who desires to make certain a easy succession.

“I will aid the individuals who are operating it just after me to keep on the good do the job for at least another 3 yrs. Great deal of desire has been demonstrated by firms, banking companies, other establishments for involvement in badminton. There are practically 20,000 folks taking part in badminton which include kids. We have completed a study and up to now there are just about 500 badminton courts in Sri Lanka,” mentioned De Silva who heads the McLarens Group as Chairman and is dependable for team profitability and company progress.

“When I arrived into the badminton scene as president, I confident them that I would be there for two many years but since of this covid, I agreed to remain on for a few many years. My intention is to action down in June but I will proceed to be a big sponsor for badminton and also assist in sub committees like match, teaching, coaching, marketing and regional progress. Even as an outsider they can appoint me,” he stated.

“I managed to deliver the sponsors in. The most important sponsors are McLarens Group of Businesses. The most important disadvantage has always been finance. The athletics ministry, BWF and Badminton Asia have also aided us in conditions of finance, education, and offering excellent information to us. We also acquired a badminton tools sponsor Li Ning. They have been pretty supportive to us,” he mentioned.

“Our aim has been on advancement at all ranges. Throughout the 1st six months in 2019, we had seven tournaments. We concentrated on nearby tournaments. They ended up all conducted in a really effective method with the provincial associations assisted by SLB. I brought in a large amount of sponsorship to have excellent playing, excellent judging, and top quality courts. We purchased program from BWF (Badminton Globe Federation), our principal, to update success rapidly and plan matches on schedule. In excess of a thousand consider component in countrywide degree tournaments. It goes on for a week or even a lot more. In this most recent application that we have they can programme the matches effectively in advance. In the earlier, dad and mom have to provide the small children and hold out. They don’t know what time the match is getting performed. At times it is postponed for the subsequent working day,” he explained.

“We also reorganised the badminton administration office environment. We have appropriate staff members now to take care of different logistics and correspondence. That assisted the organisation of the match pretty effectively. Then we refurbished the full badminton courtroom at Maitland Location, conference rooms and of study course the office. It is equivalent to a five-star resort,” he stated.

Like most sports activities, badminton was disrupted since of the COVID-19 pandemic with regional programmes getting affected. “However we managed to finance and sponsor Niluka (Karunaratne) and someway got him capable to perform in the Olympics. That was achieved. Very last calendar year we also sent other players like Sachin Dias, Buwanaka (Goonetilleke), Ranthuskha (Karunatilleke), Thilini (Hendahewa) and Kavindi (Sirimannage) for overseas tournaments,” De Silva stated.

SLB have also secured the providers of a reputed Indonesian mentor Jeffer Rosobin and an assistant mentor Saehul Islam who have been signed up for two several years. The final results have been instant. Sachin Dias and Thilini Hendahewa clinched a historic gold medal in the Mixed Doubles at the Odisha Open Super 100 badminton tournament in Cuttack, India. Dias partnered by national champion Buwaneka Goonetilleke also won a bronze medal in the Men’s Doubles.

In reality Rohan de Silva has been a fortunate talisman for Sri Lanka badminton. Less than his watch Sri Lanka’s women’s Doubles pair of Thilini Hendahewa and Kavindi Sirimannage gained a gold medal in the 2019 Kathmandu South Asian Video games for the first time.

“At the moment we are operating very tough with the international coach. The Commonwealth Games is our concentrate on. We are pretty assured that we will have a medal there,” said the SLB president whose aspiration is to build an global stadium for badminton in the foreseeable future.

“I will do it when I action down and have time to devote to creating a badminton elaborate. That is a have to if you want to go internationally,” explained De Silva who has been a frequent in the Earth Masters Badminton circuit profitable gold medals in Thailand, United states, Taiwan, Spain and London in the men’s Doubles partnering Indonesian countrywide Frits.

Possessing been a motor racing champion driving Formula modified automobiles in the Open up group, badminton is not a new-identified passion. “I have been participating in badminton for about 40 several years but I started off enjoying tournaments only when I was 40 turning into champion in all Masters age teams,” stated the 69-year-outdated who trains in badminton six times a week.

Questioned regardless of whether he experienced unfinished business as SLB president, De Silva said: “This is a long journey. There is significantly additional to do. I consider that you can do a lot additional. Instruction coaches, regional enhancement and tournaments need to all go hand in hand.”

As to whether he would rethink his decision to phase down as SLB president, De Silva claimed: “I have my designs also. I have to choose treatment of McLarens Team. I am serving in several government boards. I will need a ton of time for that.”


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