Mirror Magazine


Capture nature and win
By Marisa de Silva
Be it an image of a corrugated frog or the thoughtful repose of a leopard upon a rock (the winning entries of the past two years), the Nature Photography Competition has always managed to wade through a sea of talent and pick one that stands out from the rest. Once again, for the third successive year running, the Nature Photography Competition 2003, jointly sponsored by Fujifilm, HSBC and Jetwing Hotels, is now open to photographers of all ages, both locally and abroad to send in their creative work. This year's overall winner will walk away with the grand prize of Rs. 100,000.

Participants of any age are eligible to send in their entries to the competition, with all participants under 21 on July 15, 2003, being automatically considered for the Young Nature Photographer Award, with a prize of Rs. 20,000. Category winners first, second and third will win Rs. 10,000, 5,000 and 3,000 respectively. Entries will not be restricted to Sri Lankans or images taken within Sri Lanka. It is open to any nature photography buff, of any age or nationality.

The main intent of this competition is three-fold, to help promote and encourage the arts, build awareness on environmental issues and gain international recognition for the event, at least on an Asian level, for starters, says Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Executive Director, Jetwing Eco-Holidays and Director, Product Development cum Chairman of the competition.

The panel of judges will take into consideration visual impact, lighting, subject matter and composition. The winning and commended entries of last year's competition have been published in a 32 page, full colour portfolio, available at Lake House Publications, Colombo 02, and Fujifilm Image Service, Colombo 02.

Entries can fall into any one of the following categories, namely, Mammals, Birds, Other Wildlife, Wild Landscapes and Plant Life. No one photograph can be entered into more than one category and up to 10 photographs could be sent per category. For all participants over 21 years (after July 15, this year), an overall entry fee of Rs. 200, should be enclosed together with the snaps and coupon and a self addressed envelope, if participants want their photographs sent back to them. Entries must be delivered or posted to Fujifilm Image Service, (501, Union Place, Colombo 02), on or before July 15, 2003.

Entry coupons and a full set of rules can be obtained from any Fujifilm outlet, HSBC branch or Jetwing Hotel. Forms will also be available at the Lankadeepa on Mondays and at the Daily Mirror on Thursdays (No. 8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 02 - 2nd floor and 3rd floor, respectively).

Sports galore at Austasia
Just 15 minutes from Colombo, in the heart of Thalawathugoda is the Sports and Leisure Club that has it all!

Austasia offers you a wide range of sports and leisure activities all under one roof. You can try out an indoor sport of your choice, a red-hot work-out in their fully equipped gymnasium or a long cool swim in the pool. And if you're not so keen on fitness, you could even check out the mouth-watering menus from the Food Court or for more exclusive dining, pop in to Mitsies Restaurant and Pub.

Austasia has just hosted the First Squash Tournament organised by the Squash Federation of Sri Lanka, which was held for a period of 10 days, at their Sports Club. Coming up in May, is the Karate Tournament, the India Tournament (cricket), the Asia Cup Tournament (cricket), and in August, the South Africa Tour (Cricket) and the Tug of War Tournament.

But their biggest event will be next year, which is something everyone would look forward to - the Indoor Cricket World Cup!

There are also several sports academies at Austasia. There is the Cricket Academy with bowling machines, the Swimming Academy, Badminton Academy, and the Squash Academy. You can also play netball, basketball, soccer, hockey, and kick boxing or do some aerobics to slim yourself down to that perfect figure you have always dreamt of.

Most sports and recreational facilities are available free of charge for members, with a special discount given at the food and beverage outlets.

For recreational facilities, Austasia has a Lion Pitch Club for members, a Pool Parlour, Karaoke Lounge, Cactus Kiddies Club and play area. More facilities in the pipeline include a sauna, steam bath, ayurvedic health club, tennis court, yoga, and a kiddies day care centre.

As for food and beverages, the Mitsies restaurant and the food court are already gaining a great reputation for tasty food. Austasia organises individual functions, company and birthday parties, that could be held at the restaurant or the Food Court, if the indoor concept is needed. Or if one is in a mood to dine under the stars, there's the poolside which is ideal for wedding receptions too.

Austasia is a family oriented sports and leisure club catering to all age groups. The kids have their own play area, where they can play in toy cars, slides or try computer games, or even indoor cricket!

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