Elite training for the squash queen
Tehani Guruge, the 15 year old wonder girl in Sri Lanka squash, has been inducted into the elite, high performance Squash Training programme under the professional guidance of the ''ultimate'' Australian coach Roger Flynn, the head coach of the Victoria Institute of Sports, Melbourne.

Tehani must consider herself extremely fortunate to be trained alonside leading junior players from South Africa, Scotland, England and all states of Australia for a period of 06 weeks.

Roger Flynn has the unique distinction of coaching most Australian players in the professional cricket including Rodney Martin Paul Price and a host of others. Tehani will be provided access to the sports science staff of the psychologist dietitians strength and conditioning coaches in addition to 'on court' training.

Tehani's progress will be evaluated on a weekly basis on her performance in series of "Test matches". She will also be offered various training tools to assist her when she returns to Sri Lanka to continue her schedule.

Even though his normal weekly fee for such comprehensive training is Aus $ 50 with additional fees for sports science testing, bio mechanics etc, Roger Flynn has offered a substantial discount to Tehani in view of her promising potential and outstanding performances at international junior circuit. Apparently Roger Flynn has closely monitored Tehani's progress in the last two years.

Tehani is sincerely grateful to the Hon. Minister of Yough Affairs and Sports Mr. Johnston Fernando for identifying her potential and granting a part sponsorship for her dream opportunity.

The Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force Air Marshal Donald Perera has offered Tehani Gratis use of the Queens Clue Squash Courts for her training, recognising her top ranking in the sport.

Mr. Claude Scheffer, the General Manager Trans-Asia Hotel, has offered a similar facility to Tehani at their state-of-the-art hotel sports complex. The national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines has offered to sponsor her air travel effective next year.

Tehani's Yonex Clothing Range is being sponsored by Sunrise Co (Pvt) Ltd Singapore while her playing gear, the racquets - Hyper Hammer 145 bags etc is being sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods Company, Malaysia.

Memorable day for Royal
For the old Royalists November 21, 2002 was a memorable day when the "Royal Loyalty Pledge" ceremony was launched with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

In addition to the presence of more than 800 old boys and parents, many children from various age groups who were involved in all sports activities at college took part in this colourful event.

Two days later on the 23rd November the under 13 junior cricketers from the 'B' side went on to clinch the Division II title after a lapse of 10 years. They eliminated the Wesley college "A" team by 2 wickets in an exciting finish at St Peter's College grounds, Bambalapitiya. This award winning " B" side was led by Shanil Samarasinghe.

The team was coached by a former old Royalist Nalliah Devarajan, who was also a former Naitional poolist. Devarajan was a member of the 1983 Royal side who went on to beat S. Thomas' by 10 wickets at the Big match.

This year, the under 13 'A' side was led by L. Premaratna and the 'C' side was led by U. Edussuriya. These two teams also reached the pre-quarter finals of the respective divisions.

Suranjith heads SLAMS
The Sri Lanka Association for Motor Sports or SLAMS as it is popularly known, has at last got an elected President in former champion motor racing driver Suranjith Premadasa when he was elected to the top post uncontested. The SLAMS was for the last four years run by an interim body appointed by the previous government.

At the annual general meeting summoned by the Minister of Sports Johnston Fernando on a court order issued by the appeal court and chaired by the Director General of Sports Milton Amerasinghe the office bearers of the SLAMS were all elected uncontested. Suranjith during his hey days thrilled the crowd with his enthralling driving winning many races will no doubt be an asset to the motor sports fraternity.

An old Royalists and an entreupener dealing in printing Suranjith with his experience in motor racing seems to be the ideal choice to lead the SLAMS and end the long standing confusion that prevailed in this popular sport. However the elected officials will be in office only till March 31 2003 as the next AGM has to held on that date according to the sports law.

The newly elected office bearers of SLAMS - President - Suranjith Premadasa (Southern Motor Sports Club), Vice Presidents - Pubudu Wickrema (Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders), Ananda Jayasekera (Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club), Secretary - Ranjith Jinasena (Ceylon Motor Sports Club), Treasurer - Tharindu Perera (Southern Motor Sports Club).

The committee will consists of two representatives from the above mentioned clubs as well as Upcountry Motor Sports Clubs, Kandy Motor Sports Club and Ruhunu Motor Sports Club. -MSA

Never drop your guard
When the one day series was decided at the end of the fourth game, there was not one contest that finished after a close fight. Three convincing wins favouring South Africa and one such win for Sri Lanka.

In each case it was mainly due to poor shot selection and poor stroke play. The feast of international cricket is unending and with it the uncountable number of opportunities.

This gives way to batsman chancing their arm and taking many risks both in the shorter and longer version of the game. Players know that the next opportunity is not too far away. Quite in contrast to ten years or before when games were not so constant and seizing an opportunity meant so much.

The saying that a team can do only as much as the opposition would let you, is very true. Currently playing at their near best, the South Africans, with their assisting home conditions, are absolutely lethal. Their batsman counter the short pitched delivery comfortably and hit the ball on the rise very well.

The bowlers have the combined ability to send quick deliveries, bowl effective bouncers and most often pitch the ball on a length which the batsman struggle to attack either on the front foot or back foot.

To perfect this playing requirement is what the Sri Lankans have been grappling with for the past six weeks. Whilst the experience has been enormous the results have been inadequate.

It is the batting that is of major concern. The partnerships are not being built. Too many players are getting some start and not building on it. Again, it has been poor shot selection and rash stroke play that has caused the downfall. The bowlers have tried hard but have yet to master the correct length. The most experienced, Chaminda Vaas, has no doubt been the pick of the lot. The fielding, especially the ground fielding has slipped down a couple of notches. The players and management are aware of it and are working to put it right.

Marvan Atapattu scored the first ton of the series after Smith of South Africa agonizingly missed reaching three figures by a single in the previous game. Gibbs followed with a century in the fourth game and in fact put paid to Sri Lanka's chances of leveling the series. He timed the ball well, played some powerful strokes, but overall it could be classed as a brutal knock.

In contrast Atapattu was all elegance. He was in full flow that evening in Benoni. Jayasuriya pummeled 44 runs and then fell to a brilliant Rhodes catch at cover. The foundation was laid and his partner and vice captain did not look back. It was an innings filled with masterly strokes all round the wicket. His strength, the drives on the offside were played with precision, grace and elegance.

The form continued at Kimberly. Atapattu faced more deliveries and outscored the captain as the half century partnership was raised in no time. Then, in a moment of negligence, Atapattu failed to ground his bat on the second run, as a Boucher back flick hit the stumps and the third umpire ruled him out. Four wickets then tumbled in quick succession. South Africa capitalized as the series was lost. Never drop your guard in International Sport.

Shehan captures Hayleys Trophy
Young Shehan Ramanayake was once again focused in the limelight when he struck form and careered gainfully to win the "A" Division Classic beating Amrith de Soysa with a better back nine. His trophy was presented to him by flashy Rizwi Zaheed, the Managing Director.

Viravanathan wins
In Division "B" a comparatively new figure at award ceremonies S. Viravanathan came in all smiles with a most creditable 39 points victory and collected his trophy from stoic Richard Ebell, the Deputy Manging Director. Bandula Weerasinghe, another happy golfer appeared delighted with his success taking second place.

Amarasinghe excels
Nimal Amerasinghe just recently completed a general overhaul and repair job to his ticker. Despite the fear of strain Nimal fearlessly went for his shots and with immense help from the omnipotent he pocketed a fair parcel of pars to eventually packet 44 points the highest for the day.

He collected the award from Lalith Ramanayake, a massive round of applause and large doses of scotch at the party that followed. Ananda Manawadu was as good with his bag of points. He packed 42 and found many who were willing to shake his hand and pour him a drink. He was the most popular runner-up.

Silver haired M. Samaratunga looked the ideal senior. He played cool and devoid of flamboyancy to win the Seniors with 34 points. Coming behind was the man with a hammer and sickle swing Siri de Silva.

Gymkhana events
The unmatchable regular long driver was once again spot on with a hefty 318 yarder. Sanjeeva Wickramanayake won the title with consummate ease. Architect Surath Wickremasinghe also known as town planner gets near to anything good and off the 9th tee he settled closest to the 9th hole to be given a Philips Trophy.

The entire spirit of the competition was one of tremendous friendliness from the first shot off the first tee and the infection spread happily all through the day and enveloping the lavishly spread party in the evening. Richard Ebell and Rizwi Zaheed combined superbly to play perfect hosts and Rekha Ratwatte and Ramazeena Lye added the finishing touches in absolute style.

The award ceremony was lively and well attended. Lalith Ramanayake, the Captain of the Royal Colombo now turned smart and eloquent Public Speaker thanked Hayleys Ltd. for their impressive sponsorship and superbly concealed an important bait for further sponsorship. Smart Rizwi Zaheed very quickly picked up the bait and volunteered not only to ensure the promotion becomes an annual event but also expressed promise to be of further help to the game in the future.

Richard Ebell the Deputy Chairman was seen to nod his head with a broad smile of approval. The applause was resounding. Vijita Piyaratna, Beatrice Balaratnarajah, Niranjalie Perera, Shereen Fernandopulle and Charmaine Mylvaganam in animated conversation could not go un noticed.

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