Connect with us


An idea to improve track and field performance in schools in Sri Lanka



It is important for young athletes to take part in running and jumping events when they are in Primary Schools.

by Nagalingam
Ethirveerasingam. Ph.D.

Many of our school athletes have performed well at the national level. Some of them had represented the country. Carl Vayn Geyzel, when studying at Cambridge took part in the high jump in the 1928 Olympic Games representing Great Britain as Ceylon was its colony and not then a member of the IOC. Many athletes took part in the 1948 Olympic Games in London with Duncan White winning Silver Medal in the 400m hurdles. I, as a 17-year-old schoolboy, represented Ceylon at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. In the 1954 Asian Games in Manila only sprinter June de Krester and I, still a schoolboy, represented Ceylon. Though I was one of the four who established the new Asian Games high jump record I was placed fourth due to more misses.

Recommendation to improve Athletic Performance in Schools

The following recommendations, if implemented, will ensure that future athletes have a fair chance of qualifying to represent Sri Lanka and win medals in the South Asia and the Asian Games.

It is important for young athletes to take part in running and jumping events when they are in Primary Schools.

1. Dual athletic meets between schools in the same Education Zones.

The first three in each event in the Inter-House meets can represent their school to compete against each of the school in their Education Zone. Preferably every weekend or every other weekend. If a weekday is scheduled then the events should be held after school hours. It is best if the Dual meets are held before the District and Provincial meets.

The dual competitions between schools can be similar to one-day Cricket matches once a week. Unlike cricket, Athletic Dual meets can be concluded in half a day. For example, from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. All events will be finals as there will only be 6 competitors (3 from each school) for each of the 10 to 12 events. Athletic tracks marked for the School Inter-house meet can serve for all meetings during the track and field season.

In schools and universities in the USA, there are no speeches or ceremonial presentation of trophies or certificates. Sri Lanka schools can follow similar traditions. The results published by the schools’ website and in the local newspapers will serve as the record of performance and encouragement. The ceremonies after each event or at the end of the meet consume valuable time of students and teachers, spectators, and scarce resources.

Schools in a District or Education Zone can prepare schedule of Dual competitions for ages 13 to 19. At present individuals who are placed in the first three in each of the competition move on to the next level. Those who did not get placed do not get a chance to compete until the next year. Dual athletic meets will give athletes in each school eight to 10 meeting to compete thus increasing their chances of improving their performance.

2. Academic Requirement to Represent the School in Competitions

Currently there are no academic requirements in Sri Lanka for a student to represent the school in sports competitions. In all high schools in the United States student need to maintain a credit pass average to represent their school in any sports. Similar regulation exists in all universities. Such requirement ensures that the student-athlete focus on learning also. All athletes who represent the USA and compete in the Olympic Games are students or graduates of Universities, High Schools, or Community Colleges.

Sri Lanka School Sports Council needs to ensure that students who represent their school in any sports maintain a pass or credit pass average in the previous term or semester to represent their school in the subsequent term or semester. Such requirement will help student-athlete to excel in both.

I hope the National School Sports Council, the Ministry of Education and Provincial Councils will consider the proposed recommendations to improve the standard of school athletes’ academic and sports performance. Such guidance will pave the way for improving athletic performance at the national level.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Lahiru takes five wickets as Joes take lead



Lahiru Amarasekara

Under 19 Cricket

Off-spinner Lahiru Amarasekara produced a five-wicket haul as St. Joseph’s restricted Mahinda to 127 runs on day one of the Under 19 traditional cricket encounter at Galle on Monday.

Amarasekara was ably supported by spinner Yenula Dewthusa and Muditha Dissanayake who shared the other five wickets.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, batting opener Ranmina Hettiarachchi anchored the top order with a knock of 33 runs. Chandupa de Silva with 29 runs, Tharusha Dilshan (15) and Hiruna Gallalge (17) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures.

In their essay St. Joseph’s were comfortably placed at 132 for two wickets but back-to-back wickets in the last two overs placed them at 132 for four wickets at stumps.

At Welisara, Dinuka Tennakoon took five wickets but Maris Stella managed to post 268 runs as Shean Adithya top-scored with 83 runs. In reply Trinity were nine without loss.

Vihanga Nimsara and Rasindu Ilukshana were the heroes for Moratu Vidyalaya as their half-centuries helped them score 249 runs against St. Sylvester’s at Boyagane.

Match Details

At Galle: Mahinda 127, St. Joseph’s 132/4



127 all out in 57 overs (Ranmina Hettiarachchi 33, Chandupa de Silva 29; Lahiru Amarasekara 5/34, Muditha Dissanayaka 2/23, Yenula Dewtusa 3/32)

St. Joseph’s

132 for 4 in 42.1 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardena 53, Naren Muralidaran 41; Shehan Hasaranga 2/39)

At Welisara: Maris Stella 268, Trinity 9/0


Maris Stella

268 all out in 93.5 overs (Kaveen Fernando 26, Shean Adithya 83, Anshen de Silva 28, Ramith Bandara 33, Nethum Basnayake 26, Levin Fernando 22; Jayavi Liyanagama 2/40, Dinuka Tennakoon 5/74)

Trinity 9 for no loss in 4 overs

At Boyagane: Moratu Vidyalaya 249, St. Sylvester’s 5/1


Moratu Vidyalaya

249 all out in 93.1 overs (Vihanga Nimsara 82, Rasindu Ilukshana 54; Isuru Gunasekara 2/28, Pansilu Bandara 2/50, Akila Wickramasinghe 3/48, Khanka Wickramasinghe 2/31)

St. Sylvester’s

5 for 1 in 4 overs.

Continue Reading


Sowmiya clinches a triple crown, Silvijan bags a double



Winners posing with their awards.

Northern Badminton Championship 2023

T. Silvijan Dalima was crowned men’s singles champion while S. Sowmiya clinched a triple crown at the Northern Badminton Championship 2023 in Kilinochchi during the weekend.

At the Provincial Indoor Stadium in Kilinochchi, Silvijan met K Thusan in the final clash in which the latter retired in the second set with scores reading 21-14, 16-11 in favour of the champion. L Hentry and K Kajan were the losing semi-finalists.

Meanwhile, S. Sowmiya won all three of her open events, the women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles with respective partners.

Sowmiya clinched the women’s singles crown with a 21-15, 21-13 win over R. Ragavi in the final following her doubles title win with B. Oliviya. Sowmiya and Oliviya overcame Athmika and M. Kavinaya 21-9, 21-15 to seal the women’s doubles crown.

Earlier, Sowmiya and Silvijan, the best singles duo in the tournament, also won the mixed doubles title by defeating R. Sulacsan and S . Thanojana 21-12, 21-16 in the final.

The men’s doubles final was won by L. R. Reminsan and T. Thusyanthan who beat G. Thanukanth and R. Yuthakaran with a 21-13, 21-9 score line.

The tournament, organised by the Northern Province Badminton Association, was conducted under the guidance of Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB). SLB President Rohan de Silva and a host of top officials were among the special guests at the presentation ceremony.

Continue Reading


St. Peter’s Tennis teams up with Yeti



(From left): Manesh Kajan (U-17 Captain), K. D. Y. Pathiraja (Coach), Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo (Rector, St. Peter’s), Dilshan Balasuriya (Director, Yeti) and Malik Perera (CEO, Yeti). (Pic by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya teamed up with isotonic sports drink manufacturer Yeti, who will meet the hydration needs of the school tennis team during their upcoming Inter-School tournaments.

Yeti will provide the St. Peter’s Tennis Team with isotonic sports drinks to meet their hydration needs and as part of the partnership, the players will also have access to the elite Yeti portfolio of sports isotonic products.

This year, St. Peter’s will have a busy schedule as they are set to participate in several age group championships including the Inter-Schools Tennis Tournament, Inter-Schools Nationals and the Arjan Perera Tennis Tournament.

The Peterites had mixed fortunes last year as they emerged overall runners-up in the Inter-Schools Tournament and their Under-17 and Under-19 Teams reached the semi-finals of the Inter-Schools National Championships.

This time the Peterites are hoping for an improved performance with five coloursmen in the Under-20 side and four coloursmen in the Under-17 team.

Yeti isotonic fluid has been specially formulated to provide superior rehydration and provide the body the necessary water, minerals and energy lost during exercise.

Continue Reading