Eighteen year old Sarith Bandara a proud product of Trinity College Kandy has done his school and the city of Kandy proud by winning the title of the Spellmaster, the all island schools spelling competition which started off with 2000 students from 400 schools, which was not an easy feat, although he always seemed to maintain his composure.
Sarith said he had no expectations when he first took part in the competition as he found out he would be participating only when he got to school that morning, he just thought he'll give it a shot but never in a million years did he think he would receive the title. Sarith Bandara is a second year Advanced Level student who studies Maths, Physics and originating from his genes, his pet subject Chemistry. Being a science student he might have had an advantage with all the tough science based words that were thrown out to him at various points of the competition. Apart from excelling in his studies he also has a love for sports and music.
Keeping up to his reputation of being focused and getting through everything he sets out on, it's only obvious that he won. Sarith always seemed to remain calm at every stage, never showing any sign of being nervous, which may have worked as an advantage to him as most contestants were intimidated by him at the initial rounds of the competition. This was evident when the two girls from Mahmud Ladies' College Kalmunai had to face him in a "Best of three" during the elimination rounds of the Top 20.
Sarith is the second in a family of 2 boys and one girl. His dad is a professor in Chemistry at the University of Peradeniya and his mum is also a senior lecturer at the University of Peradeniya. The serious look portrayed by Sarith in the Spellmaster continues even in school and at home, in spite of him being reported to have a very caring and sincere personality. Although he performed exceptionally well in the initial rounds, incidentally not missing a word until about the 4th round in the top 20, he took the competition very lightly.
As always he impressed the officials as well as the audience in the grand finals, by spelling the most number of words within a given time limit in the first round. At the most intense point, when he had to face Rashidah Hassan from Good Shepherd Convent Kandy in the final "Best of 5", he even managed to remain calm and spell words like "Necrotizing fasciitis".
Sarith raised the bar for the rest of the competitors giving them tough competition, thus making it even more exciting to watch. As the Spellmaster he received a cash prize of Rs.100,000 along with a full scholarship of CIMA for classes and examinations from the sponsors Imperial College of Business Studies, a gift pack courtesy of CIMA, a laptop and his school Trinity College received a TV.