by Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, Ph.D., July 31, 2022
The First Thamil Sports Festival was held in the Kilinochchi Playgrounds in July 2004. The one-week of sports festival was organized under the guidance of the Sports Unit of the Thamil Eelam administration. Participants from the 8 Districts in the North-East took part in the Week-long competitions in Soccer, Cricket, Athletics, Volleyball, Basketball, Netball, Table Tennis and all traditional games. Both men and women participated. The competitions were held from 8 am till 9pm. A significant facility is that from 6 pm to 9 pm the events were held under Floodlights.
Participants including coaches and sports administrators from all districts were housed in public and private accommodations. All were provided with meals and refreshments. All winners were presented with trophies and medals. Over 50 Cricket games had a Third umpire with video facilities with which challenges were reviewed.
Every day the grounds were packed with spectators from Kilinochchi and nearby districts. There were temporary sheds provided for invitees and dignitaries.
The Sports Festival started with a procession of all sportspersons, coaches, officials and opening ceremony display participants. The opening ceremony followed the international guidelines and processes. The rules and regulations of international sports associations were followed. The respective dispute-resolution committees that attended the various sports adjudicated appeals by contestants.
After the first two days there were complaints by visiting teams on the quality of the food provided. That was resolved by improving to meet the needs of the various persons with diet requirements.
As an Olympian and volunteer consultant in Education and Sports I helped wherever and whenever I was asked. It was my privilege to see that the Sports Festival was organized and conducted at a high level.