With the ‘SLT Speedup Cycle Sawariya’ just around the corner Sri Lanka Telecom’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ajantha Seneviratne and the organization’s Deputy General Manager of Marketing Services, Anuruddha Sooriyarachchi expressed their views and the tale of how the impending ‘SLT Speedup Cycle Sawariya’ came in to existence.
Q: What is the purpose behind SLT coming forward to organize such an event?
A: “Sri Lanka Telecom has always supported various sports in the country. Last year we sponsored the National Athletic Championship and a number of other events in order to further develop and popularize athletics in Sri Lanka. During the current year, we have sponsored the Junior Athletic Championship and this year’s National Athletic Championship. We have always been on the lookout for sports in Sri Lanka that are in need of aid in development, where the talent is great but the level of support and encouragement received by the respective sportsmen is very low. We felt that cycling is one such sport. We have identified a number of cyclists who are of international calibre, yet do not receive any form of recognition or aid in taking their careers forward. This is one of the main reasons we selected cycling, which is how we came up with the idea of organizing Sri Lanka’s longest cross-country cycle race,” added Sooriyarachchi.
Q: Why choose cycling?
A: “Cycling has always been an important part of our lives. As children we go from tricycle to a bike with training wheels and then to the all out notorious mountain bike,” explained Sooriyarachchi. “The most thrilling aspect of cycling has always been speed, which is something anyone who has ridden a bike can relate to,” he pointed out.
“People used to see cycling as the poor man’s means of transportation, but in modern times, people see it as one of the best modes of getting from one place to another. Today cycling has become the rich man’s way of exercise as well as a trendy means of transport. That is why we selected cycling,” stressed Seneviratne.
Q: How many participants do you expect?
“We’ve conducted a 5-day route plan and inspection to ensure that the event goes off without a hitch. Therefore, we expect a maximum level of participation. According to the Cycling Federation we expect over 200 participants,” said Sooriyarachchi.
Q: In what way will the event contribute in the development of cycling in Sri Lanka?
A: “We at SLT hope that one day we will have the honour of seeing a number of our cyclists take part in the famed Tour de France and other such events. This is why we are glad to contribute such vast funds towards prizes for the winners, which will serve as a form of encouragement and support in pursuing their careers,” Seneviratne stated.