The 1st South Asian Beach Games held in Hambantota, Sri Lanka between 8 to 14 October 2011.
The opening ceremony was held at the Hambantota Beach Stadium, located in Hambantota district. The event was opened by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who said the Games will contribute to further enhancing the image of the country as a visitor destination. The event was robbed of some of its glamour when four Sri Lankan body builders were found guilty of taking illegal drugs forcing the organizers to cancel six events in that sport due to the lack of the minimum number of participants for an event. The Games’ opening have coincided with a group of delegates from across Asia arriving in Hambantota to inspect the city’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games.
Host City Selection
Sri Lankan bid for Hambantota was selected over bids of Bangladesh and the Maldives by the South Asian National Olympic Committees in an unanimous decision.
Logo and the Mascot
The logo was launched on 20 January 2011 in Galle. The Mascot represents a character called “Salu Paaliya” which is one of the 12 Palis. Palis are characters which represents various dance forms. It is believed that the “Salu Paaliya” has comical actions and the power to heal which is ideal for the Beach Games as the Mascot.
Participating Nations: 8 (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
3-on-3 Basketball, Beach football, Beach handball, Beach kabaddi, Beach netball, Beach volleyball, Marathon swimming, Lifesaving, Tent pegging and Windsurfing.
The top three winners were: India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan