Aspiring young athlete Ravindu Jayasundara, a noteworthy recipient of the Next Champ scholarship programme jointly initiated by Crysbro and the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) to enable and empower aspiring young athletes, is looking forward to returning to the World Junior Games next year and bringing home a coveted medal.
Jayasundara, who represented Sri Lanka in the World Junior Games 2020, currently holds 20 Gold, three Silver and three Bronze medals, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, as he unlocks his personal best at the trials for the World Junior Games.
Sharing his thoughts on the tournament, he noted that his experience was surreal, as it was the first time ever he had travelled out of the country, to represent his nation at the World Junior Games.
“It took a lot of practice and many trials, both in life and in the field, to get here. I am looking forward to returning to the World Junior Games and giving it my best to bring home a medal,” he said.
Further, he expressed his gratitude and thanked the NOCSL-Crysbro Next Champ initiative for enabling him to take part in the tournament with confidence.
“The scholarship came as a huge blessing, especially in an economically challenging time such as now, where your family has to painstakingly struggle to support and sponsor your athletic needs. Through the Next Champ programme, I’ve fully realised my potential and have the capacity to give my best. I sincerely thank the National Olympic Committee and Crysbro for their support, and hope they continue to support athletes like me through similar initiatives,” he added.
Crysbro’s ‘Next Champ’ programme so far has successfully paved the path towards supporting the aspirations of, and uplifting over 150 talented male and female youth athletes from Sri Lanka towards the international sports arena.
The programme aims to provide financial assistance to more competitive youth from underprivileged regions, who have the potential to enter flagship events such as the Youth Olympic Games 2022, Asian Games 2022, Commonwealth Games 2022, and 2023 South Asian Games. The initiative has also successfully produced a collection of athletes who secured gold and silver medals at the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal.
The scholarships cover the costs of nutrition, transportation, coaching fees, accommodation, clothing and sporting gear, and medical expenses necessary for the training, grooming and development of each selected athlete. Young athletes are also given access to a combination of high-value tools and world-class mentors, including foreign training exposures.
Additionally, Crysbro, along with the NOCSL, kicked off ‘Next Olympic Hope’, an extension of the ‘Next Champ’ scholarship programme, to allow the public to support 20 young athletes selected from the NOCSL-CRYSBRO Next Champ programme, who have proven themselves through multiple wins in both the local and international arenas.
Through ‘Next Olympic Hope’, Sri Lankans living within and outside the country can make well-deserved donations to support these young and budding athletes, via www.nextolympichope.com.
Crysbro Next Champ not only recognizes and rewards young sporting talent from all corners of the country, but also grooms budding athletes from multiple sporting disciplines with guidance from experts on aspects such as proper training methods and a suitable diet. The project’s founding vision sought to bolster Crysbro’s already significant social contribution as a key pillar of the country’s rural economy, thus creating sporting opportunities and promoting the message of staying physically and mentally active.