In-house Seminar – ‘Work Hard or Play Hard? The Tale of the Sri Lankan Student Athletes’ by Thisuri Ekanayake

22 December 2021

‘Work Hard or Play? The Tale of the Sri Lankan Student Athletes,’ was the subject of IPS’ in-house seminar this month presented by Research Assistant Thisuri Ekanayake. In her presentation, Thisuri highlighted the plausibility of implementing dual-career programmes (engagement in sports and education) for sportspersons in the state-university system.

Her research showed that most student-athletes are highly motivated to pursue sports and education at the same time due to fulfilment, stress-relief, social recognition, and availability of opportunities. However, there are several challenges to dual careers, notably financial constraints for student-athletes and the lack of consistent earnings in professional sport for sporting careers beyond the university period. Other challenges also include an inflexible education system, disparities between sports, and insufficient information availability. Further, the absence of effective formal support mechanisms in the state-university system makes it difficult for student-athletes to balance the two domains.

Thisuri concluded that although these challenges exist, student-athletes are motivated to pursue dual careers despite the belief that those involved in sports are not academically inclined. Her recommendations to better support effective dual careers of student-athletes include increasing awareness of sports, offering flexible schedules for student-athletes, providing financial support through scholarships, and disseminating information about the opportunities available.

Download Presentation HERE.