Row, row to gold and silver
By Ishani Ranasinghe
The Hong Kong Rowing Championship is a prestigious competition which is held every year where teams are invited by the organizers to participate. This event sees a participation of seven to eight countries that are mostly Asian, which includes China who is known to have the strongest rowing team. During November 17 and 18, 2002 this competition was held for the 24th time where nine schoolboys from S. Thomas College Mount Lavinia participated and walked away winning a gold medal and silver.
Preshith Ganegoda, Tharindu Gunasekera, Hishan Fernando and Salman Nishtar all 19 year olds participated in the senior men's open category and walked away with Gold.

Being the youngest crew that participated in this category they also added that this win was historic as it is the first time that a Sri Lankan team won the Open Category Fours event. Walking away with the silver medal for the Under 18 Category were Isuru Perera, Dharshan Goonaratne, Dejan De Zoysa and Praveen Karunanayake - all 17 year olds.

As participants at the SAF Games 2001 and Asian Games 2002, Tharindu Gunasekera, Hishan Fernando and Isuru Perera’s exposure to the International Competition no doubt proved to be an advantage at the competition held in Hong Kong.

They all agreed that this whole competition was a new and a learning experience.
Having to row a 2 Km stretch was quite a challenge for them as back in Sri Lanka they are only able to do a 1 meter stretch due to lack of space.

Speaking to them about the winning moment they all agreed that it was thrilling and marvelous. Words cannot really express what that moment really felt like. They were all thankful to their coach Ajith Goonawardena, Assistant Coach Chevantha Sirimanne who went with them to Honk Kong and also their Master in Charge Shirley Panditharatne.

They were also thankful to their sponsors for everything and everyone else who helped them in numerous ways. There seems to be a lack of support for these teams who go and make Sri Lanka proud and what would be really refreshing to see is more support given to these teams who really work hard and reach greater heights.

Old boys in Sydney lock horns to revive Trinity Rugby
By Bernie Wijesekera
Trinity rugby has enjoyed a glorious past producing quality players at the national level. In the last couple of years it has hit a new low for reasons best known to them.
Problems if there were any, have been resolved for the greater good of the game. The past is forgotten.

On a request made by Prof. E.K. Brekenridge, Principal of Trinity, to Dilip Kumar, an old boy, presently a key official of the Australian Rugby Board, has borne fruit. It has to be started at grassroots level. Geoff Garland, a qualified Level II Rugby Coach and NSW Grade I cricket umpire is a former principal (Rtd.) of a leading Sydney school, too.

Former Trinity and Army winger, Jayantha 'Kalu' Weerasinghe known as "Kalu" served as Secretary of the Rugby Union. He was here, as an emissary from Sydney along with Garland. Jayantha was interviewed by The Sunday Times prior to his departure, on Feb. 23. He said, Garland will fit in well to the traditions and culture of Trinity. Coaching is in his blood. Geoff had coached successfully the Eastwood Rugby Club's Under-19 team.

It was Dilip Kumar's vision to bring back Trinity as a nursery of Sri Lanka rugby, along with the old Trinitians domiciled in Sydney (NSW). This will be a joint effort along with the Trinity scrummage headed by Ravi Balasuriya. Dilip's mission is to uplift the sagging morale of Trinity' Rugby and bring it back to its golden era.

The "lions" have produced skillful players, too numerous to mention. But the likes of S.B. Pilapitiya, Rudra Rajasingham, Philip Buultjens, David Frank, Wilhelm Balthazaar, Y.C. Chang, late Denzil Kobbekaduwe, Nimal Maralande, Gamini Fernando, Jayantha Jayawardena, Jayantissa Ratwatte, Jupana Jayawardena, Mohan Sahayam, Kawan Rambukwella etc. did proud for the school and for the country.
Garland will be here for six months. During his stint, he would like to see the development of skillful coaches, who could take over once his term ends to continue his good work.

A major portion of his funding to coach the hill capital school will be borne by the TCK Branch in NSW, headed by Dilip Kumar, Dr. Robert Sourjah, Rex Balthazaar, J.Weerasinghe, Dr. Apple and Rodney Geddes. In Sri Lanka The Scrummage, headed by Ravi Balasuriya, Saliya Udugama and Brig. Jupana Jayawardena worked hard to make it a reality.

Prof. Brekenridge, the Principal has left no stone unturned. He will supervise its smooth running said a senior member of the Scrummage. Dr. Maiya Gunasekera, an ardent old Royalist and former President of the Rugby Union commended the move to uplift the game and revive the sport which was held in high esteem. It's good for the traditional Bradby Shield, too, which is much looked forward to in the schools' rugby calendar. It will help serve the game at national level, said Dr. Maiya.

Why no official?
When cricket is discussed, the former Commissioner of Prisons P. W. Perera has played a dynamic role for the promotion and development of cricket between two institutions. An old Anandian, he captained the school team. Later joined the Prisons Dept. He was an administrator par excellence. His humanitarian qualities helped to rehabilitate those misguided elements.

According to D. M. Dharmatilake, an official of the Rajans OBA (Colombo Branch) the P.W. Perera Trophy match was started in 1999 in his honour. Ananda emerged the first winners with an outright win. Since then it has ended in stalemate. Better Known as P. W. among the sporting circles, despite years rolling by, has done much for Ananda cricket as a competent coach producing some outstanding players at the national level.

But sad to mention in last weekend's match between the two schools at Ananda MV., there was no official of Ananda OBA even at the closing stages of the final day. There should have been someone from the ANANDA OBA or the Principal at this game played in honour of a great Anandian sportsman who had contributed much for the game on and off the field .

It could have been a fine gesture if they got down Walter to watch this even at their own expense, rather than forgetting him in the autumn of his life. Today he leads a quiet life. Walter's contribution for Ananda on and off the field can't be measured but has to be treasured.-BW

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