Wheelchair tennis, a sport that has consistently earned international recognition for Sri Lanka, recently received more support from Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) and China Merchants Foundation (CMF) in the form of a donation of US$ 30,000 (about Rs 6 million at current exchange rates).
CICT has been one of the principal benefactors of Sri Lanka’s wheelchair tennis programme since 2015. The China Merchants Foundation is the social responsibility arm of CICT’s parent company, China Merchants Group (CMG).
This latest donation brings the cumulative value of CICT’s and CMF’s financial support to Sri Lanka’s Wheelchair Tennis Programme over the past six years to Rs 41.2 million.
Additionally, CICT in collaboration with CMF donated custom-made, professional grade titanium wheelchairs to the value of US$ 9000 to three internationally-ranked Sri Lankan wheelchair tennis players in 2020. In 2016, CICT also funded the refurbishment of two international standard hard surface courts at the SLTA to bolster the sport in the country.
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.
Commenting on the company’s longstanding commitment to the Wheelchair Tennis Programme, CICT CEO Mr Jack Huang said: “CICT is proud of the players and their progress, and is happy to have played a supportive role in the development of the sport. We hope to continue to support the SLTA in this sphere in the years ahead.”
The Wheelchair Tennis Programme was initiated in Sri Lanka in 2003 as a rehabilitation programme for disabled soldiers. Currently, Sri Lanka has 10 wheelchair tennis players who have secured international rankings.
CICT manages the South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first deep-water terminal in South Asia, which is equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. Since its inception in 2014, the terminal has incrementally grown the volume it has handled; from 686,639 teus in 2014, to 1.56 million teus in 2015, 2 million teus in 2016, 2.38 million teus in 2017, 2.67 million teus in 2018, 2.9 million teus in 2019 and 2.89 million teus in 2020