His Excellency the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaska declared opened the XIth Sri Lanka University Games (SLUG) at the University of Moratuwa on 2nd May 2013.
After 18 years, the University of Moratuwa is privileged to host the SLUG 2013 with the participation of 14 national universities for the second time since inception of SLUG in 1980. The University of Moratuwa first hosted SLUG in 1985.
The University of Moratuwa had made all preparations for around 5200 students taking part in 22 sports and 35 events which are organized with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and other stakeholders who have been working tirelessly with great enthusiasm over the last months to make this event a success.
[Despite rains,] the events are taking place as scheduled at 26 sports venues both within and outside the premises of the University of Moratuwa.
The University Games concept which gave birth to present Sri Lanka University Games or simply known as SLUG commenced with only 13 sports and 20 events 23 years ago. Its maiden event was held at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka with the participation of six national universities, namely Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Moratuwa and Jaffna. This University Sports Festival, since then, is organized once in three years and rotates among the national universities.
The University of Moratuwa, the host of the XI th Sri Lanka University Games had planned a grand scale ceremonial opening. The event began with the arrival of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa being ushered in a welcome procession to the venue, the grounds of the University of Moratuwa by the Hon Minister of Higher Education S B Dissanayake, and other distinguished persons including the Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa Professor Ananda Jayawardane.
The dancing troupe of National Youth Council, welcoming the distinguished guests with a traditional Puja Dance led in the procession.
The President then unveiled a plaque to mark his arrival at the University of Moratuwa as the chief guest of XI th Sri Lanka University Games.
Followed by the march of participating teams to the ground, the Games Banner, Logo and Mascot were launched. This was followed by the hoisting of the National Flag by His Excellency the President and university flags by the respective Vice Chancellors of the participating universities.
After the National Anthem was played, the President Mahinda Rajapaksa was invited to declare open the XI th Sri Lanka University Games officially.
Among the items that attracted the audience were a display of robot manipulated quad rotors flying the National Flag, the UOM Flag, the SLUSA Flag and the Sports Flag, and the robot lighting the Olympic Lamp. These quad rotors are marvelous creations of the Department of Electronics and Telecommunication, University of Moratuwa.
The ceremonial opening of the XI th Sri Lanka University Games came to an end with two cultural shows presented by the Western Band of the Royal College, Colombo and the students of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Maha Vidyalaya, Homagama.
The XI th Sri Lanka University Games will conclude on May 12, 2013 under the patronage of the Hon Minister of Higher Education S B Dissanayake at the University of Moratuwa.