The Sunday Times reports that the Sri Lanka Sumo Wrestling Association (SLSWA) is working hard to introduce the sport island-wide, with four provinces and one district already signed up.

They are Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern Provinces and Jaffna District, which between them add up to about 175 men and 75 women wrestlers throughout the island.

Schools are also being encouraged to embrace the sport, helped by four coaches, including former wrestler Lasantha Gunewardena in the national spot plus 30 clubs, 20 of which are registered with the SLSWA.

Read the full report here.

Meanwhile, The Nation newspaper, in a story headlined ‘Sumo offers lifeline to obese Sri Lankans’, hailed the first national championships, conducted with the blessings of Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekare

It says: “Big boys who are fondly known as ‘fatsos’ showed that they too have a place in this intriguing Japanese sport, which found its way to Sri Lanka in 2010. Sri Lanka Sumo Federation (SLSF) President Kithsiri de Zoysa said that the first ever sumo national championship was a ‘huge success.’”

This is good news for all sumo fans in Sri Lanka. After many years of struggling to establish the sport here, SLSF officials have now received the backing of Minister Jayasekare.

Says Kithsiri de Zoysa: “Unlike with the past efforts we took to establish this sport, it didn’t take much time to convince the present sports minister that Sri Lankans have a future in this sport and that we need to register it under the Ministry of Sports.”

Read the full report here.

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