The 52nd Sir John Tarbert Junior Athletic Championship unfolded in a celebratory and fiercely competitive manner from November 3rd to 5th, 2023, at the Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium. Hosted by the Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association and proudly sponsored by Ceylon Biscuit Ltd’s Ritzbury brand, this sporting extravaganza drew the participation of 5000 young athletes who showcased their prowess across various events.
The Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium transformed into a vibrant sea of colors as enthusiastic sports lovers flocked to witness the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies. The air was charged with anticipation as the athletes displayed their skills, creating memorable moments throughout the threeday event.
A highlight of the championship was the recognition of outstanding performances, with trophies awarded to winners in each age group. The overall champion schools and the best athletes, both male and female, received well-deserved accolades for their remarkable achievements on the track and field.
The championship’s reach extended far beyond the Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium, as approximately 25,000 athletes participated in preliminary rounds held across the country. Venues such as Bandarawela, Colombo, Bogambara Stadium in Kandy, Beliatta, and Jaffna witnessed the talent and
dedication of young athletes vying for a chance to shine on the national stage.
The 52nd Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletic Championship not only celebrated athleticism but also fostered a sense of unity and sportsmanship among the young participants. As the cheers echoed through the stadium and across the preliminary venues, it became evident that this championship had left an indelible mark on the sporting landscape, inspiring future generations of athletes.
The facility was a brainchild of V.A. Sugathadasa, the former Mayor of Colombo Municipal Council and the first Minister of Sports in Sri Lanka and construction of the Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium commenced on January 16, 1957 and completed on December 16, 1962. Subsequent to various other development initiatives, the Sugathadasa National Sports Complex was entrusted to the Ministry of Sports as a trust fund with effect from 1st of February 1995 and the Act No. 17 of 1999 was submitted to the Parliament of Sri Lanka on 20th April 1999 for incorporating it as the Sugathadasa National Sports Complex.