FINA President Husain Al-Musallam, centre, announced help for Sri Lankan swimming during his visit ©Sri Lankan Olympic Committee

Sri Lankan swimming officials have hailed the efforts of International Swimming Federation (FINA) President Husain Al-Musallam for his efforts to help the sport on the island.

In what was described as "a bag of goodies" by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka news bulletin, it was reported that Al-Musallam offered incentives to local swimming clubs.

These included pledges for FINA to send coaches for swimming, diving and water polo to the island and also help with the construction of a swimming pool and dry land diving facilities.

Reports say that Al-Musallam pledged that FINA would help underwrite two training scholarships for a male and female swimmer to study and train in Hungary for four years.

"I believe that we can move forward in sports with just one thing: not with money, not with facilities, but with teamwork," Al Musallam was quoted as saying by the news bulletin.

"If the Government, National Federations and National Olympic Committee work together, everything will be easier."

Al-Musallam, who also serves as the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general, insisted: "Our job as the OCA or the International Olympic Committee will become much easier if this whole family in sports are together because then the goal is to make a better environment and a future in sports for the Sri Lankan youth."

National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka secretary general Maxwell De Silva described the FINA President as "a friend of Sri Lanka, a friend of sports, and a friend of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka."

He added: "We appreciate what you have done for sports in general and for conveying the message to the leadership of the country how sports should be developed."