dream venue for golf
Sri Lankan Golf Classic got underway at the picturesque Victoria
Golf Club in Digana, Kandy on October 29 under sunny conditions
to satisfy the competitors that numbered over 20. Though there
were no super stars of the calibre of Tiger Woods, Ernie Else or
Grieg Norman to illuminate the Sri Lankan Golf Classic, there
were many an earnest golfer in the contest, vying for major
this event saw a lesser number of participating countries in the
previous years, this year it has increased to 13. The new
entries, Australia, Indonesia, France and Switzerland were seen
in action with the golfers from Oman, Kuwait, Britain, Qatar,
Japan, Singapore, Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sri Lanka.
four-day events' top battle was for the best Nett Stableford
score over two rounds.
for golfers over 50 and under 18 too were on the program.
dynamic Director/CEO of the Victoria Golf Club, Priath Fernando,
told 'The Sunday Leader' that his sole aim is to popularise golf
in Sri Lanka.
general notion about golf is that this sport is only for the
elite. True, the golf equipment and the membership fees of the
three golf clubs in Colombo, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya cost a lot
of money but in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Golf Union I am
in the process of seeking avenues where any normal person could
take up the game sans much dent to their wallets.
a Sri Lankan has the natural talent in using a bat and ball.
Golf too is similar and if one is absorbed in golf at a tender
age, say between 8 and 10 years, with the correct guidance, he
can become another Nandasena Perera," said Priath with all
Nandasena Perera a rich guy? He was only a caddy who followed
and practised the game with keen interest. Today he could be
termed even as the best golfer in Asia.
how about Anura Rohana, another caddy who now occupies the top
rung in the Sri Lankan golf scene," quipped the CEO. He
added that his main aim is to get the school children interested
in golf from a young age, offering them the facilities required
at the Victoria Golf Club, putting them through the proper
channels, organising mini golf tournaments and guiding them to
is also positive that Victoria Golf and Country Resort, the most
picturesque golf course in Sri Lanka and rated amongst the 100
most beautiful in the world by Golfers' Digest designed by
famous golf architect, Donald Steel, will soon be a big boon to
the Sri Lanka tourist industry, considering the pleasure and
excitement the club can often the tourists.
Director/CEO, Priath Fernando needs no introduction, especially
to the golf circle. He comes from the most renowned golfing
family in Sri Lanka though it will be more appropriate if one
termed them as the most renowned golfing family in the world.
have reigned supreme in the Sri Lanka golf course for three
generations beginning from Priyath's grandfather W.D. Fernando.
His late father Pin, was the national little holder in 1947, 48,
53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61 and in 1962 Pin won his second grand
slam. In 1969 the master golfer, Pin, celebrated his birthday,
pocketing his 10th national title.
mother, Pam and sister Tiru were without question the best women
golfers that Sri Lanka have yet produced. Pam, in addition to
winning the national crown for many years brought her motherland
glory and honour by clinching the national title at the age of
54 years and 282 days, thus tattooing her name in the Guinness
Book of Records as the oldest woman to have won a national
title. Tiru, after wearing the crown as the national champion
for a number of years, and also competing in England and India
capped it all by becoming the very first Asian professional.
though being involved in business activities also adorned the
golf course with many excellent performances. He was the
runner-up in the Nationals 1974.
a person of Priath Fernando's calibre at the helm of affairs at
the Victoria Golf and Country Resort, one can be rest assured
golf in Sri Lanka will be on a higher platform in the very near
of the Victoria Golf and Country Resort
Holdings Limited commissioned renowned U.K. based golf course
architect, Donald Steel to design the Victoria Golf Course in
company acquired the site for The Victoria Golf and Country
Resort in 1996 and Mihindu Keerthiratne Associates designed the
villa sites and the golfers hotel site around the golf course
layout. Work on the course began in January 1997.
first sales of villa sites took place in 1998 and the golf
course opened with a membership of 100 people. The first golf
tournament was played in January 1999.
517 acre site was part of the National Livestock Development
Board and the Mahaberitenne Farm, the latter developing from a
50 year old Dutch farm.
golf course design and the associated environmental studies were
submitted to the authorities and clearance for the project was
obtained in 1996. The construction of the infrastructure works,
to prepare the villa sites, also commenced along with the golf
course construction. Work on the course - began in January 1997.
The greens were built to USGA standards. A lot of the finishing
was done by hand, to match local characteristics and conditions.
keeping with the immense natural beauty of the site and its
surrounding area, all developments have been carried out on an
eco friendly basis with every effort being made to preserve the
natural environment of the area. The existing trees and natural
rock outcrops have been retained and incorporated into the
design of the golf course.
site and location
Victoria Golf and Country Resort consists of 517, acres, and is
located approximately 20 km from Kandy (the ancient and historic
hill capital) and 115 km from Colombo, the present day capital.
nestles in the Kandyan mountains, an area of breathtaking
beauty, and is surrounded by the Victoria Reservoir,
area has a pleasant climate, with average daily temperatures of
20 C - 28 C and humidity ranging from 69% in January to 85% in
November, thus permitting outdoor activities throughout the
averages 1,300 mm per year, the main rainy periods being the
inter monsoonal rains and the northeast monsoon.
only the mountains as spectators and the Victoria Reservoir as
its nearest neighbour, the Victoria Golf and Country Resort
provides a new, refreshing concept for a golfing resort. Its
location provides golfers with complete seclusion from the
bustle of the city, allowing them to become completely absorbed
in their game, the only distractions being some of the seventy
varieties of birds identified in the area, along with the three
types of deer, mongoose, fishing cat and other wildlife,
prolific in the region.
resort shares an 8 km water frontage with the Victoria
Reservoir, with the main dam wall visible to the south east. The
reservoir is used for hydroelectric power generation and as
such, the water level varies considerably over the seasons. A
farm owned by the National Livestock Development Board occupies
the land bordering the site.
undulating terrain is particularly suited for a golf course of
international standards. The soil is free draining and sandy in
nature and has been declared by an internationally reputed golf
architect as an ideal medium on which to grow grass, ensuring
playing surfaces equal to those found in top-class golf courses
views to the north, east and south from the site across the
waters of the reservoir and the site itself are extremely
beautiful and the views across the golf course are spectacular.
There are many exclusive areas bordering the course. The
southern area known as Eagles Ridge and the eastern promontory
that runs into the reservoir for a distance of 1.5 kilometers,
lend themselves for development as natural residential
neigbourhoods within an environmentally sustainable eco-system.
road network has been constructed to serve all key areas on the
existing villa sites are served by a 3 phase power supply.
supply is provided by the National Water Supply and Drainage
Board. Up to 220,000 gallons of water can be supplied each day.
telecommunications are available through a Dialog GSM tower
located on-site. This will be further enhanced by a Lanka Bell
service due imminently.
turf management services at Victoria provide high quality garden
designs and maintenance together with lawn establishment
different varieties of turf that are grown include Tifgreen,
Tifdwarf, Santa Ana, St.Augustine and Paspalum Vaginatum.
maintains about two acres of grass nurseries to grow these
various varieties of turf and use equipment of the highest
quality, such as scarifies, trimmers, bush cutters and mowers,
imported from USA.
offers you and your family, plenty of excitement in addition to
year round golf in pleasantly sunny conditions 1500 feet above
sea level. You can also go horse riding, bird watching, hiking
through nature trails, canoeing, play croquet and boules.
sixes under ICC scrutiny
cash-rich Hong Kong Cricket Sixes hasn't escaped the scrutiny of
the ICC Anti-corruption Unit. The world body has insisted that
all its prescribed conditions to prevent match fixing be applied
for the US$260,000 on-going Cathay Pacific-Standard Chartered
Hong Kong Sixes is a privately organized event, though without
ICC recognition, as is any Sixes tournament. But that hasn't
stopped the world body from treating it like a Test or one-day
international match as far as anti-corruption measures are
concerned. It has asked organizers of the Hong Kong tournament,
essentially a fun event, to implement the gamut of security
precautions it made out in the aftermath of the shocking Hansi
Cronje confessions. The measures include a ban on the use of
mobile phones at the venue, restricted access to players and
officials at the ground and dressing rooms, which are guarded by
officials said the ICC had at last year's tournament taken some
measures to prevent match fixing, but "not as stringent as
this." Surveillance is conducted by more members from the
ICC Anti-corruption Unit this year, according to local
officials vehemently denied any suggestion that the ICC's
actions might have been triggered by suspicion of likely
breaches in the past. "We think it is only an extension of
the ICC campaign to fight corruption. The event is not ICC
sanctioned, but yet it is competed by international teams for
big prize monies and it is natural that the ICC should show
concern," said HKCA ex-co official, Mark Burns. "A
freer atmosphere would've been better, but we don't live in
ideal times. Cricket after all has lost its innocence."
much fanfare the first-ever 20-20 limited-overs competition in
Sri Lanka, conducted amongst all leading schools, was concluded
under lights at the Khettarama Indoor stadium last Sunday when
St.Sebastian's College, Moratuwa emerged winners beating St.
Joseph's College Colombo by 48 runs. The Moratuwa boys had a
scare in the quarter-finals when they tied at 118 runs with,
Royal College but winning a toss of the coin enabled Sebs to go
through to the semi-finals. However Royalist Navin Dias was
named Player of the Tournament.
were naturally played at helter-skelter pace and there were
thrills galore to, unfortunately, a poor turnout of spectators.
Maybe, if this pioneering venture was introduced on a more
familiar venue such as a centrally located school ground, for
instance, the St. Joseph's grounds itself, the response would
have been better; just as Wesley College conducts the schools
six-a-side tournament on their home ground attended by
appreciative crowds. This pioneering tournament was organized by
the St. Joseph's Sports Council under Chairman, Brian Obeysekera,
a former national cricketer who spared no effort to make it a
success. Here is entertainment pure and simple to keep in tune
with current times. Purists need not tear their hair about the
'damage to techniques' and so on, this is simply a one-off
20-20 was first mooted in England there was much opposition but
turned out to be a glorious marketing success with Surrey
winning the title. Reportedly, "players took to the souped-up
game with just the right blend of seriousness and fun; bowlers
and batsmen pitted themselves against each other with the full
use of both their bodies and brains. New tricks emerged and
traditional techniques were chiseled to perfection".
what the handful of spectators saw at Khettarama last week-end.
Trinitians rugby scrummage
scrums down for the tenth time
Sharm de Alwis
was a gathering of the storm. A price of Trinity rugger Lions
and a clutch of lesser mortals scrummed down at the 80 Club
on Saturday, 18 October, not to wreak havoc and
destruction but to assess Trinity's rugby performance in the
bygone season and to map out strategies for the
development of Trinity rugby in the future. It was the tenth AGM
of the Old Trinitians' Rugby Scrummage.
outgoing Chairman, Ravi Balasuriya, said that ten years ago, in
1993, a few Old Trinity ruggerites had the vision to form the
Old Trinitians Rugby Scrimmage. He made special mention of
Kenneth Boteju. "Dabar' Adhihctty, Udeni Molligoda and past
Chairman. Dr. Robert Sourjah. Dr Kenneth Gunawardena, Dr.
Douglas Nethsinghe, Dr.Michacl Abeyaratne (So many doctors,
Trinity rugger must surely have been ailing) and the late
Wilhelm Balthazaar who steered the course to perfection and the
principals of Trinity who gave ample support for the smooth
functioning of the association.
the season concluded recently the OTRSC helped Trinity
financially, assisted substantially by Dilip Kumar of Sydney
towards development of Trinity rugger.
the Bradby was lost by a whiskering margin is now in the dust
heap of recorded history but Trinity rugger emerged as a potent
force after the previous year's debacles.
U17 team coached by Anil Jayasinghe has a glorious scason when
they were never
defeated in the inter - school games and
went onto runners - up in the Premier Championships
most encouraging feature was the performance of the U13 team
which had a pool of 80 boys. Two teams were entered for the
Central Province Championships and the A team beat the previous
year's champions, St Anthony's 56-0 in the finals of the major
tournament. The B team best Dharmarajah 46- 0 in the finals of
the secound tournament.
was the expressed though that Trinity rugger is back in track.
Mohan Samarakoon, a formidable prop in his day who donned the
college and Kandy Sports Club jerseys will be a pivotal figure
to move matters along by getting all Trinitians to be rugby
orientated. Mohan fills a vacuum left with the exit of may
senior prefects of games.
harked back to his captaincy year of 1977 when Trinity won the
Brady and all other matches with handsome margins. He said that
he had the luxury of having in his team the captains of boxing,
cricket, athletics, basketball and hockey. He lamented that
coaches of other sports, today, prevent quality players taking
part in rugger because of the risk factor. He made a fervent
with that the college authorities would address the issue and
revert to past practicc.
Trinity principal of ten years ago had mentioned at the inaugural AGM that several schools had
their own gymnasiums
and that Trinity lagged behind on that score. A modern gym is
the call of the hour.
Jayawardene, Trinity rugger Lion and captain of 1961 was elected
as the Chairman for the ensuing year.
observed that the scrummage had moved at a certain pace until
Ravi took it to a higher plain where it is a more effective
force to assist Trinity rugger.
spoke of the old times when Trinity was rugger and rugger was
Trinity and promised to take Trinity rugger to the position
which is Trinity's by divine right.
office bearers for the next year are:- Patron - The Principal,
Trinity College, Kandy, Chairman - Jayantha Jayawardene, Vice -
Chairman - Chris Halangoda , Jayatissa Ratwatte, - Hemaza
Hassanally, Committee - Upali Herath , Japana Jayawardena,
Omar, Ranjit Panabokke , Anura Ratnawardana, Mohan Samarakoon ,
Sivaji Subramanium, Saliya Udugama, Thushara Weerasuriya.
principal spoke of the trials and tribulations of rugger
vis-a-vis the academics. The rugger team constitutes the Year 13
boys and with the Department of Education re- timing A - level
exams a serious threat is posed to rugger who have to drag their
feet for half an year.
cricket coach should
be a watchdog not a bloodhound
cricket was a game, coaching of cricket was a labour of love
undertaken usually by former cricketing 'greats', generally,
alumni of the particular school. Those respected older
generation of cricketers merely handed the baton over to the
next with a few words of wisdom until the cancer of money
plagued our beloved game. Paid coaches then were rara aves -
one of the pioneers in organized cricket coaching, as far back
as the late 1940's, was the much-respected Major B.J.H.Bahar who
established indoor cricket nets at Zahira College, Maradana. It
was rudimentary but the first of its kind in Ceylon. Major Bahar
who had undergone training at Alf Gover's famous coaching school
at Wandsworth in South London, helped his alma mater, Zahira
College and other coaches/students whilst charging a nominal sum
for the use of nets and lights.
was no coincidence that during this time the country's
cricketing standards were up with the best, naturally, because
school cricket was in the safe hands of astute coaches of the
calibre of Gerry Gooneratne, John Halangoda (Sr.), Bertie
Wijesinha, Herbert Wittachchi, Dr.'Barney' & 'Chippy'
Gunasekera, Malcolm Spittel, John Pulle, et al. They were a
dedicated lot and may I also add that none possessed a coaching
'qualified' coaches, steeped mainly in coaching manuals, sprout
in the manner of mushrooms after rain. Result? Rubber-stamped
cricketers keep tramping off the assembly line, mainly, from
private coaching schools much in the manner of clones. Last week
I met a former Ceylon player of repute, who had to select junior
teams for a district. He said: "It was so difficult to make
a decision because they all play alike."
uniform coaching stifles the emergence of outstanding players,
and sadly the National Development Centre of Sri Lanka Cricket
appears to be condoning such practices when, a recent news
report stated that they have devised a "programme to
educate the coaches at all levels from grass roots to national
and, to ensure that there is some sort uniformity in coaching
throughout the country." Hopefully this programme permits
individuals to develop their natural skills otherwise this is a
sure recipe to suppress and scupper brilliant players.
the Don said
Don Bradman wrote in his first book 'How to Play Cricket'
do not think, however, that what I have written must be copied
by all and sundry; every cricketer living has his own
individuality, and must be allowed to express it...At all times
I am a great believer in building up the natural ideas or
peculiar gifts of each individual."
would strongly advocate all coaches to heed these golden words
production not action!
West Indian Lance Gibbs, the first spinner to capture 300 Test
wickets, came to Ceylon in the early sixties he was confronted
by a devoted local cricketer. "You know Lance" he
said, "your action is chest-on, isn't it?" Replied
Gibbs: "Maan, it's not action that matters but
contryman, paceman Malcolm Marshall, too did not have a
text-book action but ended up with 376 wickets in 81 Tests.
watch the bizarre bowling action of left-arm spinner Paul Adams
of South Africa who has, at the time of writing, played in 42
Tests and captured 129 wickets.
Bradman said it is a matter "of building up the natural
ideas or peculiar gifts of each individual." Look at
Bradman's basic technique: in stance position his bat was
between his feet. His bat grip shocked the purists while the
back-lift came from the direction of second-slip! Would young
Bradman have had a chance with a certified coach? Or, a young
Rohan Kanhai who had the ability to sweep sixes while lying flat
on his back? As Gibbs said, it is production that matters.
a local coach jump the bandwagon to proclaim in public -
sometimes supported by the successful boy himself! - that
"I coached so and so". To them I say: "Yes, the
boy did it despite you but if not for you he would have been
much better". The knowledgeable coach is not a
sergeant-major and lets him enjoy the game. He respects his
student and knows the boy reached the top because of his (the
boy's) particular talents. The coach merely guided him when
necessary. The principle of being a watch-dog and not a
bloodhound. Knowledge, percipient knowledge, and maturity are
hallmarks of a successful coach.
this regard, here is Bradman, the most successful batsman ever,
of how he, as a coach, would speak to a student: "Imagine I
am chatting to you, not in the role of a dictator, but in the
role of a friend, saying quietly, "Playing in this manner
has given me the best results. Have you tried that way? If not,
it may assist you. Let us talk it over. Perhaps between us your
game can be improved."
nothing else that is humility for you from the greatest
phenomenon that ever graced a cricket field.
Fingara Open Mercantile Bowling Competition
Town & Country Club is an exclusive club consisting of
members from the cream of society and catering to their every
recreational need. The latest event on their social calendar is
the first ever annual Fingara Open Mercantile Bowling
Competition. This prestigious event is billed to provide five
power packed days of excitement and entertainment from 10 to 15
November for the sports loving citizens of Sri Lanka.
sports facilities available at the club include a wide range of
indoor and outdoor games, namely, swimming, badminton, squash,
tennis, table tennis, cricket nets, a pool parlour, golf putting
etc and complementary recreational facilities from an aerobics
centre, a video arcade, sports library, kids play area, an
exclusive restaurant and pub complete with a private dining
room, a coffee shop, Karaoke bar, a modern gymnasium and
extensive banquet facilities. Sports enthusiasts will have the
privilege of viewing these facilities otherwise reserved
exclusively for members use during the tournament.
Fingara Club membership categories include life, corporate and
individual sports membership with a new concept in memberships
that includes a tradable life membership that increases in value
as the demand for such an exclusively limited membership
Competition - Registration Fees - Rs 1,500.00 per team, A team
should consist of three members (Ladies/ Gents), One company is
entitled to send in any number of teams,
The competition will commence at 6.00pm on 10 November
and conclude at 3.00pm on 15 November when the finals of the
competition will be held, For application forms and further
details contact Athula - 0712 309472, Sanjeeva - 0712 364518 or
Nuwanthi - 0712 364517.