- a brilliant player, modest individual
By Aubrey Kuruppu
It may sound strange, but Sri Lanka's foremost winger's first choice
in sport was cricket. Sanjeeva Jayasinghe, who has sent many spectators
into raptures, and many opposing defences to helpless surrender,
with his blazing speed initially had visions of making it as a cricketer.
He did in fact play for his school - Science College Mt. Lavinia
- as an allrounder.
It was at this
point that fate intervened. Almost all his classmates in the A/L
class were sold on rugger. By dint of prolonged persuasion, they
were able to drag Sanjeeva onto the rugger field. Jeffrey Saheed
who turns out presently for Havelocks was one of those responsible.
career took off from there. He had just one season of school rugby
and then threw in his lot with the Havies. His rise to fame and
stardom was immediate. Picked for the Sri Lanka side in his first
season in the Chocolate and Brown Jersey, Sanjeeva made his debut
on foreign soil. He turned out for the Park Club with distinction
for four years, captaining it in 2001.
Not born with
the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth, Sanjeeva was playing with
the idea of finding employment abroad when a lucky break came his
way. He decided to bid goodbye to the Havies and instead hitched
his wagon to the Kandy Sports Club star.
struck by the discipline and team-work at Kandy SC. He feels that
it is due in the main to these two factors that his new club carries
all before them. Half in just, he opines that picking the club side
is more difficult than selecting the national side. Kandy SC has
an experienced back division and everyone knows what's expected
of him. He also speaks glowingly of the Havelocks sevens team (and
Leonard de Zylva and Lakala Perera in particular).
most abiding memory is of scoring a try after a 65 metre run against
the champion all blacks side. This was at the 2002 Dubai sevens.
He remembers defeating Kenya 27-19 in the Bowl quarter final, and
going under to Wales, after a close tussle in the semis.
with enthusiasm of the 2001 quadrangular at which Sri Lanka was
captained by Asoka Jayasena and coached by Nimal Lewke - Sri Lanka
beat Malaysia and Thailand at this tournament. At the Asiad Jayasena's
team, of which Jayasinghe was an integral part, beat China only
to lose to Singapore by a mere three points.
out Lewke as one of the main factors in his rise to stardom. With
a tremendous sense of modesty he says he's not perfect and that
he's still learning from his coaches, and from every international
match he plays. In fact, he makes it a point to ask Kandy SC's technical
advisor, George Simpkin, after every match, how he played.
and oh-so-speedy wing three quarter has represented the national
team for five years. In that time he has toured Dubai, Hong Kong,
Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Kazakhastan. Talking of the latter,
Sanjeeva says that playing rugger in a heavy snow-fall was an altogether
novel experience. Personally, Sanjeeva likes to play against foreign
teams purely for the experience he can gain. Sanjeeva has just about
recovered from a bad ankle injury which kept him out of all rugby
for about eight months.
SSC Squash Open will add more flavour
Squash since its inception in 1981 has gone from strength to strength
said the President of SLSF Air Marshal Ben Soza, at a media briefing
held at the Singhalese Sports Club's third Open Squash Championship
to be staged at their Sanjiv Mendis courts from May 3 to 13.
He was associated
by the officials of the SLSF and Mohan de Silva, General Secretary
of the SSC. This Open a ranking tournament, is organised and conducted
by the Federation. At the inception there were only ten courts in
Colombo, but today there are 110 courts among the clubs and schools.
This "keep fit" sport in its wake has brought forth more
regular competitions and had given that much needed exposure to
the juveniles, juniors (both boys and girls) and for men and women
in respective age groups.
There are quite
a number of Lankans who have excelled in the SAF region. Like in
other countries, this sport has not given playing opportunities
to the less privileged, but confined to the affluent society. Yes.
There should be courts in every community centre and the sport should
be taken to the rural schools than confining to Colombo schools.
In countries like India, Pakistan etc., the facilities are available
Take the Services players. They are in the limelight, thanks to
the opportunities afforded to rural youth after they have joined
Jayawardena agreed that they should divert their attention to the
Provinces and to make more courts available for them to indulge.
Col. Jayawardena said, they hope to get the Sports Ministry assistance
and even go to the extent of making use of the experienced local
players of yesteryear to start a development programme. Entries
close on April 30 at 5.00 p.m. with the Sec. Tournament Committee,
SLSF, Sqn. Ldr. Jaliya Jayasekera at the Air Force Sports Complex,
Bauddhaloka Mv., or at the SSC. The draw will be held on the same
day at the SSC.
There are events for boys U-19, 17, 15, 13 and 11 (for both boys
and girls). Open men's and women's, over 35 and men's over 45. -
Good referees are a must - Maher
Quite pleased with your local rugby referees. They have good control
of the game and the ability to interpret the laws without let or
hindrance, said Gerry Maher of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
He was appointed by the IRB to conduct a three-day Level 3 Assessors
Course, for the Asian region held at the Trans Asia Hotel here last
Maher was interviewed
by The Sunday Times after the Arabian Gulf-Japan ARFU quadrangular
tie, at Longden Place. Representatives from S'pore, Japan, Malaysia,
Arabian Gulf, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka attended the course.
with 14 years of Div. I rugby refereeing conducted the course, assisted
by Jarrad Gallagher, Regional Development Manager Asia. It was hosted
(jointly) by the Sri Lanka Rugby Union and the local Refs. Society.
Gerry said, the course was well organised by the Refs. Society headed
by Tony Amit.
course is to help further the levels of refereeing in the Asian
region. This will also afford them to officiate their matches in
the region, by their own Refs. It will serve them to get that much
needed confidence and the ability to handle the whistle without
fear or favour.
not to be carried away by the crowds. Yes. There should be total
commitment and self belief and mental toughness. Once you are at
the middle forget about other issues - personal or otherwise. Maher
said, if the game is to make headway and further develop, then the
standard of refereeing has to improve.
who officiated the Arabian Gulf-Japan match had good control when
the Japanese players went on a try spree. He had to run with the
ball. Fitness plays a vital role in a fast open game. -
has made it
Dilroy Fernando is a good International referee. He has been appointed
by the IRB as a trainer assessor for the Asian region. If one works
hard with dedication and devotion, then they could not only handle
the whistle in the Asian region alone, but in other parts of the
Sri Lanka is
quite capable of producing quality Refs. to serve the game. The
atmosphere for rugby here is adequate. Good facilities - ground.
Plenty of talent. It needs proper planning. The management should
work to a plan and look into player problems if there are any, Gerry