Wheelchair Tennis, a sport that has created Paralympians of the calibre of Suresh Ranjan Dharmasena, has received a further commitment of support from the China Merchants Foundation (CMF) and Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) with a donation of US$ 35,000 (Rs 12.9 million at current exchange rates).
The donation was presented to the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) at a ceremony held on 15 September. This donation is part of CICT’s continued support to the Wheelchair Tennis Programme of the SLTA, in conjunction with the CMF, which is the social responsibility arm of CICT’s parent company, China Merchants Group (CMG).
Commenting on the Company’s close affiliation with wheelchair tennis in Sri Lanka, CICT CEO Jack Huang said: “It is extremely encouraging and heart-warming to have been able to make a tangible difference in the outlook for the sport in Sri Lanka, and in the lives of the competitors. CICT is happy to be a prominent benefactor to this very worthy cause and we look forward to seeing Sri Lanka’s wheelchair tennis rise to even greater heights in the years ahead.”
CICT has been one of the principal benefactors of Sri Lanka’s Wheelchair Tennis Programme since 2015 and donated US$ 30,000 to the cause in 2021, too. More than Rs 54 million has been donated by CICT in support of the programme over the past seven years.
Additionally, CICT in collaboration with the CMF, donated custom-made, professional grade titanium wheelchairs to the value of US$ 9,000 to three internationally-ranked Sri Lankan wheelchair tennis players in 2020. CICT has also funded the refurbishment of two international standard hard surface courts at SLTA to bolster the sport in the country.
The Wheelchair Tennis Programme was initiated in Sri Lanka in 2003 as a rehabilitation programme for differently-abled soldiers. Currently, Sri Lanka has 13 wheelchair tennis players who have secured international rankings.
CICT’s acceptance of the mantle of main sponsor of the SLTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Programme has enabled Sri Lankan players to participate in many international tournaments, resulting in the country being ranked among the top 40 countries that play wheelchair tennis.
CICT manages the South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first and only operating deep-water terminal in South Asia, which is equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat.