Forget the past and start afresh
By Bernie Wijesekera
The recent defeats by the Sri Lanka rugby team be it Sevens and XV-a side (2002) is now water under the bridge. Start afresh and forget about the past. It's no point going for any one's head, but all are answerable. It's damaging for the future betterment of the game. Sri Lanka has made a name in the 'sevens' formula internationally. The recent tours and the results have tarnished its image.

Sevens coach Asanga Seneviratne, during his short tenure has done reasonably well. He may have spotted young talent during this short period. Under his reins the team may have suffered setbacks, but give him all support with a well-drilled formula.
The coach is not taking the field, but it's the players who run with the ball.

They must have self belief and totally committed and play for the right reasons rather than harp merely on material gains put the country before self. It's the players who are going to reap the harvest not the coach or the management. The Sri Lanka Rugby Union, will hold its annual general meeting on February 22, 2003. There is lobbying for posts barring the president Mohan Balasuriya, who will be uncontested. Put other issues and club loyalties and elect those who have the game at heart and totally committed to uplift the game to enjoy a better future.

Bring forth professionalism to the sport on and off the field. With peace in the offing, the services should be given all support. They could harness some strongly built rural youth to take to the scrum - even from Jaffna and Batticaloa.

The rugby season will start with the club sevens on January 18 and19. The competition will be keenly contested with quite a number of talented schoolboys playing in the big league. Hope this start will hearld a new era for this popular sport which has a great following. This contest is being played in the name of rugby legend, the late Denzil Kobbekaduwa.

Upul Priyantha surfs to glory at Bentota
By M. Shamil Amit
The Open Windsurfing Championship organized by Lanka Sportreizen and the Windsurfing Association with the cooperation of the Bentota/Beruwala Hoteliers Association on the invitation of the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board was held amidst a large gathering last Sunday at the Bentota beach.

Windsurfing which was revived after a lapse of six years saw at the conclusion of the championship a new champion emerging in Upul Priyantha de Silva who won all three course races which was held that day. Although the force of the wind was a little low for the first two course races there was sufficient blowing for the third event.
Seventeen competitors faced the starter Upul having won the first course race had no difficulty in winning the second too, with little opposition coming from his challengers. He made it three in a row.

Upul was adjudged the overall winner and was awarded the LSR Challenge Trophy and the Baron de Livera Challenge Trophy for the best Sri Lankan windsurfer. The first runner up was Priyantha Gunawardena who was awarded the Bentota/Beruwala Hoteliers Association Trophy while the second runner up Lalin Laiendra de Silva who participated at the Asian Games held in Busan recently being awarded the LSR Trophy.

The youngest and most enterprising windsurfer of the championship went to Essanka Peiris who was awarded the Thusitha Nanayakkara Challenge Trophy given in memory of eminent journalist the late Thusitha Nanayakkara of Kreeda.

The judges of the championship were two former windsurfing champions Thilak Weerasinghe and Thusal Gunawardena who are the only VDWS (Germany) qualified judges in Sri Lanka. VDWS is the largest ever windsurfing training centre in the world. The championship was conducted under the Professional Sailing Association rules.

Ikram Odayar to coach Kingswood
By Shamseer Jaleel
Former Trinity Rugby and Boxing Lion Ikram Odayar will coach Kingswood College Kandy at the 2003 rugby season who will have hard working Ronnie Ibrahim as his assistant coach.

The first school in Ceylon to play rugby was Kingswood College then known as Kandy Boys High School, where it was introduced in way back in 1891 by its founder principal, I.E. Blaze who was an Old Trinitian Ceylon's first ever inter-school rugger match was played between Kingswood College and Trinity College on August 11, 1906.

Kingswood's 2003 side will be led by third year coloursman and centre Dinesh Sirinimala. Ikram Odayar played rugby for Trinity College Kandy at all levels from 1978-85.

He toured Taiwan in 1983 with the 1983 champion Trinity side that had some top names such as Ashan Ratwatte, Rohan Abeykoon and Ravi Pillai. He led the 7s team in 1985 and also was the vice-captain of the 1st XV team and captain of the Outstation Schools team the same year.

He was awarded his Rugby Lion after the tour of Taiwan (Under-20) which he captained at national level. After leaving school Ikram represented Kandy Sports Club in 1984-87 and also Dimbulla, Dickoya, Uva, Kelani Valley Club and CR&FC. He was a member of the Sri Lanka Under-24 side in 1989 and later represented the senior team at the Asiad held in Colombo in 1990. Ikram was playing Division III rugby for KV when he was selected for the Asiad.

Ikram who became the best boxer at the all Island Stubs Shield Tournament was the youngest ever Trinitian to win a Lion in any sports, and when he was only 15 years old, he was awarded with Lion for Boxing. Ronnie Ibrahim, who captained Kingswood in 1986, played for Police. Kingswood College Kandy are getting the full support from their principal, old boys and the 2003 team is all out to give a good display in the coming rugby season.

SLARDAR C’ship on Feb 8,9
The Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR) will conduct its second SLARDAR championship starting with the Katukurunda Motor Races scheduled to be held on February 8 and 9 2003.

This year too the championship to pick the winner will consist of five racing meets namely Katukurunda 1 and 2, Radella Hill Climb, Foxhill Supercross, Karandupone Hill Climb and Gajaba Supercross.

As customary the championship will start with the Katukurunda races which will be held next month.Entries for the Katukurunda races are open at SLARDAR office 128, High Level Road, Nugegoda with the last date being January 24, 2003.

Scheduled events - 1. Group P - Motor Cycles upto 125cc. 2. Group A - Mini Saloon 998cc. 3. Group R - Four Stroke upto 600cc. 4. Group R - Motor Cycles upto 125cc. 5. Group M and Cars upto 1050cc. 6. Group P - Motor Cylces upto 250cc. 7. Group F - Ford Formula 1600cc (Race 1). 8. Group A - Cars over 12kg/hp. 9. Group R - Motor Cycles upto 125cc. 10. Group M & T - 105cc upto 1350cc. 11. Group A - Cars - 10 to 12kg/hp. 12. Group R - Motor Cycles upto 250cc. 13. Group M & T - Cars upto 1665cc. 14. Group A - Cars- 8 to 10 kg/hp. 15. Group F - Ford Formula 1600cc (Race 2). 16. Group M & T - Cars 1665cc upto 2550cc. 17. Group T & J - Truck and Jeep. 18. Group M & T Cars upto 3500cc. 19. Group A Cars - 6 to 8 kg/hp. 20. Motor Cycles Open.-MSA

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