Bolgoda Lake Rowing Club (BLRC) and Kotalawala Defence University (KDU) will be conducting the inaugural Bolgoda Indoor Rowing Championship (BIRC) on May 1 and 2 at BLRC premises. This is the first occasion in the history of the sport that an indoor rowing championship is being conducted in the country.
Indoor rowing is conducted using rowing machines which are popularly known as ergo-meters. Using of these machines, first developed for rowing crews to be in training during winter period, has become a sport in its own right with competitions becoming very popular and wide spread. It gives the rowing enthusiasts who do not have access to rowing facilities or does not posses boat skills the opportunity to simulate rowing and also to compete.
In the BIRC there will be 14 individual events, 14 team events conducted under age categories for men and women. The age categories have been selected in order to provide a level playing field for the competitors. There will also be an elite category and an endurance challenge event where the top competitors can test their skills. Over 150 competitors from all affiliates of the Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka (ARASL), the governing body for the sport of rowing, are expected to compete at this championship.
Since its establishment in 2008 BLRC has been in the forefront in promoting the sport of rowing in the country. Talking to the Sunday Times President of BLRC Sithira Wickramasekara said that in its short existence BLRC has been successful to a great extent in fulfilling its twin objectives of raising the standards of rowing in Sri Lanka by developing infrastructure to internationally accepted standards and popularizing the sport of rowing in areas out of Colombo, where the sport has been concentrated for over a century.
Chanaka Talpahewa, Chairman of the Organizing Committee said that ‘conducting BIRC is heralding a new chapter in the history of the sport in Sri Lanka. BLRC and KDU coming together has harnessed the synergies of the two institutions and is acting as a catalyst to take the sport of rowing in the country to the next level.’