One of Sri Lanka’s most promising young golfers is to be supported in her dreams of mastering the amateur circuit by the sponsorship might of the Softlogic Group, arguably the country’s most dynamic conglomerate.
Fourteen-year-old Taniya Balasuriya of Sri Jayawardenapura Balika Vidyalaya is the latest beneficiary of the Softlogic Group’s commitment to foster young Sri Lankan talent, a commitment which saw the Group take the country’s first Asian Tour professional golfer Mithun Perera under its wing in 2016.The Group has awarded Taniya a one-year golf scholarship commencing January 2017. The scholarship is to be administered through the Sri Lanka Golf Union, the national body for golf in Sri Lanka, and her coach Jehan De Saram.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Ashok Pathirage, Chairman of Softlogic Holdings PLC said: “At Softlogic we believe that talent scouting is vital whether in respect of professionals or potential young sporting stars. As a Group, we are committed to help nurture and grow worthy talented individuals in the arena of sports. I have the fullest confidence that Taniya will deliver results soon under appropriate guidance.”
“We believe Taniya has the potential to be a champion in the future and to contribute positively in moving Sri Lanka towards world class standards in the sport of golf. We have therefore decided to support her to improve not only her technical skills but also her physical training, nutrition and mental focus.” He said the sponsorship would also enable Taniya to participate in identified overseas tournaments to gain exposure to the standards of other junior players in Asia and gain valuable experience on courses in other countries.
Taniya, who started playing golf at the age of 10,currently holds a club handicap of 6. In her relatively short association with the sport, she has notched up several noteworthy wins including the Ladies Sri Lanka Stroke Play Championship in 2015, the Regional and Sri Lanka Junior Open Division championship and been ranked No. 1 in the Silver Division (Age Group 12 – 14 plus years) in the National Junior Rankings 2015. Among her recent achievements were securing a berth in the semifinals of the Sri Lanka Amateur Championship in 2016 where she finally succumbed toThailand’s top seed.
Up to now, Taniya has been supported by the Royal Colombo Golf Club, the country’s oldest and most prestigious and only ‘Royal’ golf club and the Sri Lanka Golf Union, which is the controlling body for golf in Sri Lanka recognised by the Ministry of Sports, whilst Sri Lanka’s only qualified PGA professional coach Jehan de Saram has been providing her with the necessary basic skills and knowledge which has given her the confidence to move to the next level. “The Sri Lanka Golf Union is overjoyed that a prominent company like Softlogic Holdings PLC has taken this step to provide funding for our high potential junior golfer Taniya and hope that others too will follow suit as we get into a more formal golf development programme in schools,” said Priath Fernando, President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union accepting the cheque for her scholarship fund.
Softlogic Holdings PLC is one of Sri Lanka’s foremost, dynamic conglomerates, with leading market positions in the country’s growing economic sectors; retail, healthcare, ICT, automobiles, leisure and financial services. Softlogic holds Authorized Distributorships for key global brands and today, employs over 9,000 people in its offices located in Sri Lanka and Australia.