Janitha Jayasinghe was instrumental in the foundation of Shanthipura's high-altitude training centre ©Getty Images

Youth Olympic Games medal-winning coach Janitha Jayasinghe has set up a high-altitude training centre in the Sri Lankan village of Shanthipura, which can accommodate up to 50 athletes.

Jayasinghe, who coached Parami Wasanthi Maristella to Sri Lanka's first Youth Olympic Games medal, aims for coaches and athletes to have access to the facility for their high-altitude training season.

Parami won bronze in the 2,000 metres women's steeplechase at Buenos Aires 2018 in a time of 6min 33.06 sec.

"Teams can come here and use the facility and they also can obtain my expertise and can train under my supervision as well," said Jayasinghe, who is also a World Athletics Level II coach, as reported by The Island.

"The facility is not restricted to endurance athletes.

"It is also available for athletes of all sports.

"Enthusiasts who want to improve their endurance with high altitude training can use our facilities."

 Nuwara Eliya sits at an altitude of 6,128 feet ©Getty Images
Nuwara Eliya sits at an altitude of 6,128 feet ©Getty Images

Jayasinghe is among dozens of coaches who bring their athletes to the Nuwara Eliya village for high altitude training every season.

"High altitude training is a must for endurance athletes," added Jayasinghe.

"One of the major problems we faced when we came for high altitude training at Nuwara Eliya was the lack of facilities.

"I have now set up a high-altitude training centre with accommodation, gym and other training facilities for those who are interested in obtaining them."

Talks for a Government-funded high-altitude training centre in the district had been ongoing for more than a decade, with Jayasinghe pushing for the investment after he coached Parami to the steeplechase bronze medal in 2018.

"It is a difficult task for a person like me," he said.

"It needs the patronage of institutions like the Sports Ministry to run a facility like this.

"I am much obliged if such an institution come forward to support this.

"In fact, I revealed my plan to authorities after Parami won the Youth Olympic medal in 2018.

"But there was no positive response then."

Sri Lanka will next have a chance to win a Youth Olympic Games medal in 2026, with the event, scheduled to be hosted by Dakar in Senegal, postponed by four years due to financial difficulties.