Racing Riders Are a Neglected Lot

Racing Riders Are a Neglected Lot

Motorcycle racing is a journey that never ends. Needless to say that, no competitor of any other game experiences such intense pressure at the starting line, than a racing rider about to embark on a do-or-die battle ride,

It appears that the growth and development of motor cycle racing has been marred by inconsistency in working out the calendar of events which is an issue the sport has to rectify as riders have to fine-tune their machines. Riders regret that up to now half the year has gone by but they are without any track events entered on the calendar of races for the year 2020.

Frankly, all riders dream of becoming a national champ and for that matter they have to compete in local races conducted by the national governing body. Secondly their dream is to compete in international events and bring glory to their motherland.

Most international event calendars are prescheduled and conducted according to schedule, but sad to say that when Sri Lanka's national calendar is prepared it will end up clashing with the international calendar of events which keeps the riders away from these meets.

In a way, we can be proud of ourselves as this sport is one of the longest surviving sports having been introduced by the British. Five decades ago, masters of the sport like UD Jinadasa, Chandra de Costa, Bhatiya Mirando, Raja Perera, Pat Coomarawel and M.Hirdramani, raced on tracks that were landing airstrips and on public roads.

The most agonizing part is that even after five decades, we are still using the same old tracks except for two privately owned tracks in Pannala and Mirigama which are yet to meet international standards. It is a rider's nightmare to ride on roads which are not safe and a most recent casualty was Ananda Wedisinghe who lost his life while racing in Nuwara Eliya.

At the National Awards Night, the Director General of Sports acknowledged the dire necessity for a world-class track for motor racing. The Ministry of Sports must seriously look at allocating land and we can lure the sport loving companies to go for a public-private venture. This will be a blueprint to make Sri Lanka a versatile location for motor racing.

What we expect from the Ministry of Sports is to leave aside the so-called 'sports politics' and choose what is right from wrong which is what the country is yearning right now. Our gut feeling is in winning in any sport and becoming a champ either nationally or internationally. With a longterm plan set by administrators of sports it will be of vital importance to guide these talented riders and forget petty politics. If the necessary steps are taken we can be sure of producing champs not only here but also in foreign competition too,
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