5th November 2000
SriLankan Airlines the most lavish sponsors of golf combined with the Victoria Golf Club to arrange and present the golf classic 2000 last week on the course which is now identified as an absolute national asset. Over 12 dozens participated of which 4 dozens were brought in by UL from far and near. The host hotels were the Earl's regency and Mahawali Reach both 5 star and if I had any authority in the industry I will unhesitatingly place them with an extra star each for their excellence of service and meticulous care for detail.
We experienced super weather throughout the weekend with the morning sessions bright, sparkling, nippy and superbly sandwiched in the salubrius hills of Digana. A warm and friendly atmosphere prevailed and the sessions were captured by a great spirit of bonhomie enveloping the pleasurable 19th hole where unsurpassed hospitality was lavishly spread out Sri Lankan cabin style. Unaccustomed to the tricky course the results were indifferent and scrappy but in a few particular efforts the returns were outstandingly good.
Visitor Ian Dossett playing off 7 was the man of the first day.
In complete command he drove and putted in masterly style picking up pars in monotonous regularity and at the end of his round his 42 points appeared unmatchable. I was not surprised to learn that he had already picked his destination anticipating a winning ticket courtesy SriLankan Airlines. He was joyfully celebrating through lunch and early dinner time and nobody would blame him. Anura Rohana a plus 2 player from the Royal Colombo was at his brilliant best until the 16th when looseness crept into his game and he paid the price. 39 points was the result. There was nothing worthwhile from the rest of the participants but the disaster zone was choked to capacity. In this zonal area Siri de Silva was exceptionally prominent. He hooked, sliced, strayed and eventually took refuge in the Peacock Lounge surrounded by 2 stunning flight stewardesses and stacks of refreshments.
Wasantha strikes gold
I was talking with Wasantha de Silva on the night before his Sunday encounter and I was quite surprised to identify that he did not give a damn about the almost unmatchable 42 points he had to beat. It was not cockines but absolute confidence that made him say to me " I like targets and enjoy chasing them. I am confident that I can get there. So it was as the morning dawned on Sunday. Wasantha was long, firm and precise and he handled those speedy greens with exceptional skill. He cracked a great 42 points and his heaps better back nine moved Dossett off the scene. Back in the clubhouse his attractive wife Dilshari was all pins and needles almost chewing her nails off in her anxious moments over her dearly beloved's progress in the game. The announcement brought a beam and she will now joyfully choose and exotic destination and the two of them will take off soon through the courtesy of SriLankan Airlines.
Usha De Silva moves with a reputation that identifies her as a hard to beat stableford player. She moved convincingly from the 1st tee shot using her parcel of strokes miserly and intelligently. At the 18th she clinched a tremendous 40 point victory while Anel almost chocked on a rushed beer celebrating the resounding victroy joyfully. Usha was a popular winner and richly deserved the success she achieved and the luxury air tickets she collected. Kumari Herath came 2nd closely followed by stylist Niloo Jayatilleke.
Padmini Arnolda did not need a stroke of luck. Her tee shot was accurate enough to place her close to the hole and collect an award. Alain Gyi was more accurate in the men's event when his ball almost kissed the cup and nearly dropped in. Niloo Jayatilleke struck a classic tee shot to take the handsome award for the longest drive for ladies. Dilhan Abheyaratne was absolutely topnotch with a drive that many would envy.
The irrepressible Whitham and his formidable team brought glory to this event with their organizing skills and Nola most unobtrusively spread charm with the finishing touches. The SriLankan Airlines trio Victor Abeysekera, Hussain Jayah and Hyacinth Silva dovetailed the major arrangements of sponsorship and combined superbly with the Whitham team to conclude an absolutely super duper classic event.
Packed to capacity the immense crowd gathered round the platform in full view of the glamour trophies. There was much evidence of speechcraft with Rezani Azeez excelling with the announcements. Top Executives Neeraj Kumar followed G.T. Jayaseelan distributing posh awards and Airline tickets and finally Tony Oxlade the colourful Chairman of the Victoria Golf Club said thank you to all participants, the organizers and most of all to SriLankan Airlines the fabulous sponsors. There was much polish and sophistication in the advertising and publicity Bates Strategic Alliance had with SriLankan Airlines and the event.
Tehani Guruge of Musaeus College did well to reach the finals in the under 13 age group at the Indian Junior Squash Championships held at the Bombay Gymkhana Club. Tehani was the only Sri Lankan to enter a final and met the wonder girl from Bombay Alisha Mashravala.
On her way in reaching the final, Tehani beat Radhika Kashap of Indore in the under 15 quarter finals which gave her the necessary courage to encounter the wonder girl.
In her win against Radhika, Tehani won through varying her game in cross court lobs and cutting down volley winners losing to Alisha 9/4, 9/1.
Tehani has the experience of playing in the British Open in 1999, Scottish open in 1999 and was placed third, and the Australian open and placed 7th out of 18.
The 'big boss' of Athletics in Sri Lanka is going around telling everyone that Susanthika Jayasinghe is accusing him and the former Minister wrongly and that she is being instigated by a gang and he would name them soon. The question is: Which gang, insulted Susanthika. Was not the 'big boss' instrumental in doing so?
Why no action against SLBF?
Readers of Rover are keen to know from the Minister of Sports why no action has been taken against Sri Lanka Basketball Federation (SLBF) for mismanagement of the funds for the past ten years? Who are the officials responsible for bringing Basketball into the present chaotic situation? Have this officials actually played Basketball?
Why no Accounts?
Rover is receiving large numbers of letters from Basketball lovers thanking for highlighting the abuse of power by the Vice President even without caring for the President and the members of the Executive Committee. Treasurer is unable to prepare accounts because the monies collected for foreign tours and seminars have not been deposited to the SLBF accounts. Why has no action been taken against those who had misappropriated the funds of the SLBF and violated the Constitution of the SLBF?
ABC Coaches Seminar - Malaysia
Believe it or not: the Vice President from Sri Lanka Basketball Federation had nominated himself and four others and participated at the Asian Basketball Confederation Coaches Seminar in Malaysia held during the second week of October without the knowledge of the President and the approval from the Executive Committee of the SLBF. From where and how was the money found to attend the Seminar by these unauthorized coaches? Who signed the letters for leave?
How was approval given?
Rover wishes to know how did the Ministry of Sports give the approval letters to the unauthorized coaches to attend the Asian Basketball Confederation Coaches Seminar without getting letters of recommendation from Sri Lanka Basketball Federation? Was SG from the Ministry of Sports involved in approving the names before he was removed from the Ministry?
Why were applications not called ?
Rover is informed by upcoming coaches who have produced results that why no applications were called by the Coaches Association from its members to select the nominees to attend the Asian Basketball Confederation Coaches Seminar held in Malaysia last month? Was it open only for the "Yes Men" of the SLBF Vice President.
Calling new Sports Minister for action
Canvassing is going on to have the AAA of Sri Lanka dissolved since the head who is a paid coach was attached to the Ministry of Sports. According to the Sports Law 9 such officials are debarred from holding office. A strong protest has been made to the new Minister of Sports calling him to move into the matter urgently, supported by at least six leading athletes, Rover learns.
Much money spent
Rover hopes the new Minister would hold an inquiry to find out how much has been spent by the AAA for the Asian Championships in Indonesia and the Sydney Olympics this year which looks like a tidy sum. It will also serve a purpose to find out the money spent by the two senior officials of the AAA who visited many countries in canvassing the Asian Championships.
Minister as President
The big mouth was heard telling all that attended the Exco meeting of the AAA, if he is deprived of coming forward as its President, he vouched that he will support his former boss the Minister to come forward for same and also went further on to tell all that his boss might be the next NOC Chairman too. What greed for power
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