Nestle Lanka PLC Assistant Vice President Beverages Norman Kannangara (Third from left) hands over the sponsorship documents to SLSNA President Sandamali Aviruppola in connection with the 25th School Netball Championship for the Milo Trophy. (Pic by Mushtaq Thasleem)

The Sri Lanka Schools Netball Association (SLSNA) officials related the sport’s progress to the growing number of players taking to the sport at a press briefing held at the CR&FC Pavilion in Colombo on Thursday (July 14) in connection with the final stage matches of the School Netball Championship for the Milo Trophy.

According to SLSNA, President Sandamali Aviruppola the number of schools playing netball in the island has increased over the years from 27 to 1,000. Aviruppola also spoke of a vertical growth in the sport by saying that some of the players from these schools had gone onto represent Sri Lanka.

There is a lot of excitement in the netball scene these days because this year’s championship marks the 25th anniversary of the tournament. Nestle Lanka PLC Assistant Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communication Bandula Egodage told media representatives that he was happy to see Milo being associated with the 25-year-old history of the tournament. “Milo looks at the unity and success associated with the netball tournament as common objectives. Milo is also happy to be part of netball because it is the number one sport for girls,” Egodage said.

The preliminary stages of the tournament were conducted in 15 centres and the final stage of the tournament will be held from July 30 to August 1, at the Matara Uyanwatte Grounds.

According to the organizer of the tournament, players have been pooled into under 14, 16 and 18 age groups. According to SLSNA officials, matches in the under 14,16 and 18 tournaments will be played in two divisions. The four teams qualifying for the semi-finals in Division A will be selected for the all-island tournament. Arrangements have also been made to pick the two finalists contesting the B Division tournament to play in the all-island tournament.

The SLSNA officials said that the certificates and medals to be given away to players will be printed and designed in such a way that recipients will take home fond memories of this historic 25th edition of the Schools Netball Championships for the Milo Trophy.