English girl of Lankan parents for Karate World Cup
By S.R. Pathiravithana
For all that matters she is a British. Born in England spent all her life there and now selected to represent Britain. But, hearts of hearts sixteen-year-old Tavisha Fernando is a little Sinhalese girl born in Britain to Sri Lankan parents - Anthony and Malanie.

On September 15, 2004 Tavisha will be in Tokyo City, representing England at the World Cup Karate tournament. Hailing from the Ilford Ursuline High School, seven Kings, Essex Tavisha took to Karate when she was only eight years old. She said "When I was small one I was watching a karate film that was it I took to it". This flirt with the sport ended with her being chosen to represent England at the European Championship at Suffolk, last year where she won four silver medals and two bronze. On her achievement at Suffolk Tavisha said, "I was not expecting much at the European Championships, I was not quite ready for that event at that time, and so to qualify for the World Cup tournament is indeed an achievement. However now I am prepared and equipped to compete at this level."

Tavisha learned her Karate at the Kenshinkai Karate Association in England along with her younger sister, thirteen-year-old, Nalisha who is also a Black Belt. At present she also attends workshops at the Suffolk University, which is the only university in the United Kingdom, which caters students in sport sciences. Besides being a Karateka, she is also an instructor of the sport. She is hoping to do a degree in sport sciences at the Suffolk University.

At present Tavisha does not have any idea of coming to Sri Lanka, but, according to her she would love to so. At the same time if she receives any invitation to come over to Sri Lanka she would love to and also willing take up any assignment on a voluntary basis.

While in Sri Lanka both Anthony and Malanie were employed at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation where Anthony was an accountant and Malanie was the secretary to one of the doyens in Sinhala Broadcasting - Chitrananda Abeysekera. They migrated to England nearly two decades ago. The pretty Tavisha in her spare time likes to listen to Music and is a keen follower of all types of sports.

At the last European Championships Tavisha won silver medals in Individual Kata ( Technical), both under15-16 and under 16- 17 team Kumite (fighting) and Kata in the adult section. Her Bronze medals came in the under 15 and 16 and under 16 - 17 kumite events. In Tokyo Japan at the World Cup Tournament which begins on September 15 Tavisha will take part in the under 16-17 individual Kata and Kumite events.


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