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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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