Jun 6, 4 years ago

100 Years for Sri Lanka Volleyball

http://sportsinfo.lk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0313-950x633.jpghttp://sportsinfo.lk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0313-950x633.jpg100 Years for Sri Lanka Volleyball

The volleyball was introduced to Sri Lanka a century ago. However, the origin of this sport is the United State of America. The honor of introducing this game to the world initially should go to William Mogen who was the Sports Director of the Association of American Young Men Christians of Holyoke in the region of Massachusetts. The volleyball which was introduced by Mogen in 1895 evolved itself throughout the world year by year. In 1947, the Federation of International Volleyball was formed. After its formation, the First World Tournament of Volleyball for Men and the First World Tournament of Volleyball for Women were held in 1949 and 1952 respectively.
In 1957, a special volleyball match was played in the City of Sofia in Bulgaria in presence of the International Olympic Committee. As a result, this Volleyball was included in the agenda of the Olympic Games held in 1964. Since then, the volleyball is being played as a game in the Olympic Games up to now. Beach Volleyball was included in the Olympic Games held in 1996. After that, the volleyball today plays a role of two disciplines of athletics within the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) as Volleyball One Sport Two Discipline”. The Federation of International Volleyball conducts Volleyball and Beach Volleyball as international sports along with the Olympic Games, World Cups, Intercontinental and Regional Games under five Continental Federations of Intercontinental Volleyballs with the memberships of 220 countries.
In 2001, the Federation of International Volleyball named the Heroes in Volleyball of 20th Century. Karchchi Curly of the United State of America and Regla Tores of Cuba were named as the best men and women players in sports. Yasutaka Matudahira (Japan) and Eugenio Jorgwon were named as the best Coaches. Italy (Men) and Japan (Women) were named as the best Teams.
The volleyball introduced to the world in 1895 was brought to Sri Lanka in 1916 by Voltor Cameck, then Director of Physical Education of the Association of Colombo Young Men Christians. Though 1916 was declared as the year where the volleyball game introduced to Sri Lanka, there is no a specific record in the history regarding the exact date of introduction of such game. However, according to the Monthly news bulletin issued by the Association of Colombo Young Men Christians in the months of April and May in 1916, it proves that the Volleyball has been introduced in the month of May in 1916.
Nevertheless, the volleyball introduced to Sri Lanka in 1916 became popularized very quickly and the Volleyball clubs was formed. A series of volleyball matches played within the Island and the game was popularized in a great extent. The Federation of Sri Lanka Volleyball was formed on the 04th of September, 1951and consequently the volleyball received an official recognition. Sir Richard Aluvihara was the first President of the Federation of Sri Lanka Volleyball. T.C. Anandaappa and D. Rajadurai were the first Secretaries of the Federation respectively. Since then to now, 16 presidents and 21 secretaries have been in the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation.
The period 1983-1986 where Charita Rathwatta functioned as the President of the Board of control for Volleyball and the period 2005-2015 where Dilan Perera functioned as the President of the Federation can be introduced as a changing era of volleyball in Sri Lanka. Charita Rathwatta who wrote an article to ‘Volleyball News’ in the month of December, 1986 where his tenure of presidency came to end, has brought the volleyball game toward the recognition from village level to international level under the present-day ‘Volleyball Steering Committee’. We do not expect to mention about the programs we implemented for volleyball. If the volleyball game of this country has achieved its progressive journey up to now, it is the courageousness and confidence of the people who involved in this field. This gam has come to this much of distance through a very difficult journey. We are happy in the moment of passing the tenure of present Volleyball Steering Committee, about our attempt to place the volleyball game of this country in a higher rank where it now stands. After this, the period 2005-2015 of Dilan Perera would come. As Dilan Perera stated in the opening ceremony of the 10th Asian Youth Volleyball Championship conducted at Colombo Sugathadasa Sports Complex on the 05th of August, 2014, ‘giving permanent sponsorships for volleyball game particularly coordinating private sector intuitions, providing the senior, junior, young players of volleyball and Beach volleyball with experience Sri Lanka has so far gained in international games, giving job opportunities for players, Sri Lanka senior men team, junior women team, youth team qualifying into super eighth rounds in Asian circuit, receiving the highest international medals in volleyball and Beach volleyball games, getting exceeded the limit of participation of 5000 teams at National Championship, President Gold Cup and DSI School Games, conducting the 2nd National confederation for volleyball, introducing Family Concept of Volleyball and thereby associating all parties involved in Volleyball Game are the important improvements added to Sri Lanka volleyball at his era.
In addition to this, the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation received a permanent Office during the period from 1987-1989 of Roni de Mel, the former Minister of Finance where he functioned as its President and a Regional Training Center of the International Federation of Volleyball was given to this Federation for the volleyball. During the tenure of Asoka Wadigamagawa, the former State Minister of Land where he functioned as the President of the Federation of Sri Lanka Volleyball from 1990-1992, Sri Lanka won the first Gold Medal in an International Game. That is the Gold Medal won in the Vth South Asian Game held in Colombo in 1991 by Sri Lanka Women Volleyball Team under the captainship of Renuka Abegunawardena Yapa. This is the era where the volleyball game received the highest respect among such eras. This is the era where the volleyball game was declared as the National Game of Sri Lanka with the approval of C. Nanda Mathew, former Minister of Sports based on a proposal brought by a Sub-Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Vini Witharana. Erandika Weliangage and A.S. Nalaka are functioning respectively in the capacity of President and the Secretary of the present Federation of Sri Lanka Volleyball.
The first National Volleyball Team was formed in Sri Lanka in 1955. Since then, nationally, 42 Men Teams and 26 Women Teams have been formed up to now. Further, 13 Junior Men Teams, 11 Junior Women Teams, 05 Boys Youth Teams and 03 Youth Girls Teams have been formed. Since then and up to now, 175 sportsmen and 129 sportswomen have been able to win the Sri Lanka Colours for Volleyball. 149 junior sportsmen and 132 sportswomen have represented National Junior Teams. 60 sportsmen and 36 sportswomen have represented National Youth Boys and Girls Teams respectively.
Players So far, 27 spikers have given their captainships to the Sri Lanka National Men Volleyball Team which started with T.D.L. Charles and 15 female captains have given their captainships to the Sri Lanka National Women Volleyball Team which started with Grace Gajasinghe. Kalika Wasanthapriya who continued his captainship for 09 times, Nayana Anupama Jayarathna who continued her captainship for 05 times were the spikers who served more and more years for Sri Lankan Volleyball Teams.
L.P. Perera (1973 Kerala-Sri Lanka Test Series), Ananda Wannitilake (1985 Pakistan Gold Cup Tournament and 1989 IV SAF Games – Pakistan), W.L. Piyarathna (Pakistan Gold Cup Tournament), Kalika Wasanthapriya (1993 Bangladesh and 2006 SAF Games – Colombo), Damith Ranga Fernando (2003 II Asian School – Hong Kong), Sameera Dissanayake (2010 SAF Games – Pakistan, 2013 South Asian Invitation Tournament – Nepal), Janith Surath (2016 SAF Games – India) are the captains who guided Sri Lankan Teams towards victory. Sri Lanka Men Team under the captainship of W.L. Siriwardena participated at the Vth Asian Games held in Bangkok in 1966 and which was the first occasion and the first Asian Games faced by Sri Lanka Volleyball Team.
Nandha Ganegoda (1970 India Test Series and Kerala Sri Lanka 1973), Renuka Abegunawardena Yapa (1991 SAF Games), Rohini Chandrika (1993 SAF Games), Sandaya Sandareka Perera (1995 SAF Games), Nayana Anupama Jayaratne (1999 and 2006 SAF Games), Udeni Priyadarshani (1998 Central Asian Women Championship), Dinesha Prasadhini (2016 SAF Game) are the captains who guided Sri Lankan Teams towards victory. In addition to this, W.L. Siriwardena won the award for the best spiker in South Asia at Mohamed Ali Jinnah Gold Cup held in the City of Karachi in Pakistan in 1959. L.C. Ekanayake won the award for the best player in Asian Volleyball Club Championship held in Lebanon in 1998 and Kasun Chaturanga won the award for the best setter in the Asian School held in 2003 Hong Kong and thereby they have brought honor to Sri Lanka. In the meantime, here we can not forget Lasantha Aberatne who won the award for the best Libero in the First Central Asian Championship held in 2006. Lalith Premalal and Geethika Gunawardena who have secured Libero rank in Volleyball (1999) are the first Sri Lankan Men Libero and Women Libero. Among the prominent Volleyball sports men and / women who contributed for the Development and advancement of Volleyball in the past in Sri lanka, Batto Demataoda, L.A.D. Premaratne, Asoka Wijetunga, Seetha and Sunethra sisters, S. Kathiragamalingam, M. Sivaratnam, Camillies Anthoney, K. Balaiya, Sopaya Dharmasena, George Fernando, Jayantha Perera, Lal Perera, Maduka Kiriella, Ranthilaka Jayaweera, J. Sriwardana, Erick Jayasooriya, Jayasiri Perera, Sarath de Silva, Ranjith Premarathna and Srinath Anthony, occupy pride of place in the firmament of sports History.

Volleyball Coaches and Refries in Sri Lanka

Today, in Sri Lanka, 08 Coaches qualified with Level III of International Volleyball Coaches Course, 62 Coaches with Level II and 132 Coaches with Level I are available in Sri Lanka. Apart from this, 4000 school and sports club Coaches are in volleyball field. K.A.K. Wijepala who functioned as an Instructor for the Federation of International Volleyball and the FIVB Level III Training Course is the first Sri Lankan. In the meantime, today two Sri Lankan Coaches with Post-Graduate in Volleyball are rendering a precious service to the volleyball sector. C. Ratnamudali (1986-1993) and I.P. Wijeratne (1991-1997) who obtained PostGraduate from Havana University of Cuba are Coaches. D.C. Alahendra, K.A.K. Wijepala, W.L. Piyarathna and A.A. Jayathissa have been national volleyball Coaches at the Sports Ministry. The Sri Lanka Volleyball referees panel commenced with Douglas Alahakon and S. Rajadurai has expanded with 8 international volleyball referees, 138 A Grade referees, 78 B grade referees, 27 C grade referees, and 303 national referees. Wimal Amarasinha was the first international referees in the history of Sri Lankan volleyball in 1985 and Priyantha Senevirathna became the first Sri Lankan referees to judge the final match of an international tournament (The 2011 XXV Asian Junior Women’ Tournament between South Korea and Japan held in Vietnam). At present Wijesiri Perera and W. Paranagama are the most senior referees in Sri Lanka.
The national team Sri Lankan Coaches commenced with H.P. Siriwardena and G.N. Karunarathna has expanded to include 22 Coaches today and Charles Thilakarathna and Robarto Sethore of Cuban national are the Coaches for the men and women teams respectively and they were the Coaches of the national teams at the 12th South Asian Games held recently. Jackson Senaratne (1973 Kerala – India Test Series), K.A.K. Wijepala (1976 Pakistan Mohamed Ali Jinnah tournament, 1989 IV SAF Games – Pakistan, 1991 V SAF Games -Colombo), N.D. Gunasena (1993 SAF Games – Bangladesh), W.L. Piyarathna (1995 SAF Games – India), K.S. Peris (1999 SAF Games – Pakistan), Sisira Kumara Wendakon (2010 Bangladesh and 2006 SAF Games – Sri Lanka, 2013 Invitational South Asian Volleyball Tournament- Nepal), Charles Thilakarathna (2016 SAF Games – India) Channa Jayasekara (2003 II Asian School Tournament – Hong Kong), C. Rathnamudali (2006 SAF
Games – Sri Lanka), Douglas Alahendra (1970 and 1973 Indian Test Series), G.T.S.K. Abesiriwardena (1973 Kerala – Sri Lanka Series) have brought fame to Sri Lanka and are prominent among the volleyball Coaches. In addition, Dr. Argis Tresodder (Public Relations Officer of the American Embassy – 1950), Dr. V. Kapek (Embassy of Czechoslovakia) and Dr. A. Parkins (Embassy of Canada – 1970), Karte Rade (Germany – 1984), Suse Nakamura (Japan – 1984), Rafael Terri (Cuba – 2008), Yosuiki Ikeda (Japan – 2008), Robarto Sethore (2016 – Cuba) are the foreign Coaches who contributed to the Sri Lankan volleyball.
S. Rathnamudali and Susil Ranasingha were the first officers who followed the Volleyball Information System – VIS, a course on obtaining technical data which has a prominent place in international volleyball tournaments in the year 2004 at the Federation of International Volleyball, Regional Volleyball Training Centre in Thailand. Afterwards, Sarath Kithsiri, Ajantha Dahanayaka and Eranga Rathnasekara have followed the FIVB – VIS course.
Volleyball Tournaments in Sri Lanka
The first national men’s volleyball tournament in Sri Lanka was held in the year 1951 and Central Sport Club Gampaha won the trophy for men in that tournament. The first championship of the national women’s volleyball tournament was held in 1957 and St. John Bosco College, Hanwella won the trophy for women in that tournament. The first school volleyball championship was held in 1951 and the Chidambaram Central College of Welwetithurai won the championship. The current champions are Sri Lanka Port Authority men’s and the Foreign Employment Bureau (women). Apart from the State Services, Defence Services, mercantile, nationalized services and xangular tournament, President’s Golden Cup, Cup Winners Cup, Gam Udawa, Yowunpura, Mahaweli Volleyball, Youth Services – Rupavahini tournament, DSI School, national school, beach volleyball tournaments were conducted within Sri Lanka. It is right to mention that the Independent Trophy Tournament started by Avissawella Chandrika Sport Club in 1980 is being conducted with the participation of the best men and women teams of Sri Lanka since then to up to now to mark of Independence Day.
Beach Volleyball Tournaments in Sri Lanka
Beach volleyball was included in the Atlanta Olympic Games first time in 1996. This game started with the first national beach volleyball tournament held in 1992. The championship of the first men beach volleyball tournament was held in 1992 and the Sri Lanka Port Authority team led by Kalika Wasanthapriya won the trophy for men in the tournament. The first women’s beach volleyball tournament was held in 2000 and the team led by Mangalika Wasanthi Kumari and Kumari Wanniarachchi, representing Sri Lanka Air Force won the trophy for women. Sri Lanka for the first time in 2003, participated at the Asian Beach Volleyball Tournament held in Thailand and as of today, 73 men’s teams and 54 women’s teams have participated in 45 international events. 05 male captains and 02 female captains have led the Sri Lankan beach volleyball teams and six Coaches have contributed to its development. Prasanna Udaya Kumara and Dhammika Silva are the Coaches who have led the Sri Lankan teams towards its success. As of today, 20 sportsmen and 19 sportswomen have represented the national beach volleyball teams and 4 sportsmen and sportswomen have represented youth teams.
In 2003, the Sri Lankan Beach Volleyball team participated at an international tournament for the first time in its history. Geethika Gunawardena who played for the team at that time is still functioning as the captain of the team. Roshan Dhammika Silva, Jude Mahesh Perera, Wasantha Rathnapala, Pubudu Ekanayaka, Asanka Pradeep, Thakshila Niranjalee, W.W. Sujeewa, Sagaree Gunasingha are among those sportsmen and sportswomen who brought fame to Sri Lankan beach volleyballs. It should be specially mentioned here that Mahesh Perera was the overall captain of the Sri Lankan team which participated the II Asian Beach Games held in Oman in 2010. At the same time, Chamika Sandaruwan and Isuru Madhushan who represented Sri Lanka in beach volleyballs at the II Youth Olympic Games in 2014 held in China marked a significant step in Sri Lanka’s beach volleyball event. At the Asia-Pacific Beach Volleyball Tournament held in Bangladesh in 2009, Mahesh Perera and Wasantha Rathnapala were able to gain the first ever international medal for Sri Lanka in beach volleyball. Wing Commander Padman de Costa acted as manager cum coach of this team. Afterwards, Mahesh Perera and Wasantha Rathnapala of the men’s team and Ms. Geethika Gunawardena and Ms. Thakshila Niranjalee of the women’s team were able to win the gold medals in the first South Asian Beach Volleyball Tournament held in 2011 in Sri Lanka. At the Asian Games held in Doha Qatar in 2006, Sri Lanka was represented in the beach volleyball event at an Asian Games for the first time and thereafter Sri Lanka beach volleyball teams took part in Asian Games held in China and South Korea in 2010 and 2014 respectively. At the same time, Sri Lanka’s youth sportsmen and women have participated at the first Asian Youth Games held in 2009 in Singapore and II Asian Youth Olympic Games in 2014 in China.
Janaka Batugahage and Prabath Madhura are the first Sri Lankan candidates for international referees in beach volleyballs. School Volleyball in Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka Volleyball is celebrating its centenary, no one can forget the school volleyballs that could be considered as the birthplace of Sri Lankan volleyballs. The all Island School Volleyballs was incepted by Dr. H.S.R. Gunawardena in 1951 and with the introduction of national school games that came into being from a concept of Sunil Jayaweera in 1984, volleyball is played by both boys and girls under 19, 17 and 15 use catagaries. The DSI school volleyball tournament that commenced in the year 1998 has become means that produces both sportsmen and sportswomen to the Sri Lanka youth and junior Volleyball teams. All the sportsmen and sportswomen who represent both male and female teams in Sri Lankan at present have joined the national team through the national school volleyballs and DSI volleyballs. Accordingly, at this moment of centenary of Sri Lankan volleyball, the attention of the sports authorities led by the then Education Minister should be drawn towards the technical and competitive promotion of volleyball and beach volleyball within the school system of Sri Lanka.
Educational authorities such as Sunil Jayaweera, Olivia Gamage, U.L. Karunarathna, Ranjith Jayathilaka, Lionel Chandrasoma and Nihal Fernando are prominent among those who contributed towards the strengthening of volleyball within the school system. Kolonnawa Balika Vidyalaya, Ibbagamua Central College, Vigneshwaran Maha Vidyalaya (Jaffna), Chedambaram Maha Vidyalaya (Welwetithurai), St. Don Bosco college (Hanwella), Kuliyapitiya Central College, Bandaranayaka Maha Vidyalaya (Gampaha), Pothupitiya Maha Vidyalaya (Kalutara), Dawisamara Maha Vidyalaya (Seeduwa), Senanayaka Central College in Madampe, Dammissara national school in Naththandiya, Rajasinha Central College in Ruwanwella, Hungama Vijayaba Maha Vidyalaya, Dikwella Vijitha Maha Vidyalaya, Anuradhapura Central College, Trincomalee Mihindupura Vidyalaya, Sandamadulla Maha Vidyalaya and DS Senanayaka Central College (Ampara), Wiwekananda Maha Vidyalaya and Memale Tamil Vidyalaya (Badulla), St. Mathew Vidyalaya and Lankagama Junior College (Deniyaya), Seethadewi Balika Vidyalaya (Kandy), Peradeniya Maha Vidyalaya and Narammala Mayurapada Vidyalaya are among the schools that gave birth to volleyball sportsmen and sportswomen as well as that brought a number of victories in volleyball. The championship of the first school volleyball tournament organized by the Educational Ministry in 1952 was won by the Vigneshwaran College in Jaffna and the championship of the first ‘Lankadeepa’ school tournament organized by the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation was won by Chedambaram College of Welwitithurai in 1952.
Volleyball Administrators of Sri Lanka V.A. Sugathadasa who was appointed as the Vice President of the first Lanka Volleyball Federation in 1951, and elected as the first sports Minister in Sri Lanka in 1965 who was also elected as the Vice President of the Sports event-Committee and V.K. Arumugam, the Vice president of the Lanka Volleyball Federation who was elected to the Finance SubCommittee of Asian Volleyball Confederation in 1969 are the first administrators who brought international fame to Sri Lanka.
At the same time, Mervin J. Cooray who represented Asian Volleyball Confederation administration Committee from 1993 – 2005 and Dilan Perera who represented International Volleyball Tribunal (IVT) of International Volleyball Federation Legal Commission in 2006 and the administration Committee of the Asian Volleyball Confederation from 2011 to 2015 are another reputed significant administrators of Sri Lanka, Air commodore Ananda Samarakoon who was the then Vice President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation and acted as the Chief de Mission of the Sri Lankan contingent of the 2nd SAF Games held in Kolkata in 1987 and Priyantha Jayakody, the Senior Superintend of Police who was the Chief de Mission of the Sri Lankan team at the 2nd Asian Beach Games held in Oman in 2011 are some other eminent administrators from Sri Lanka. In addition, officers such as Douglas Alahakoon, Jackson Senaratne, I. Wijesinha, Major MW Perera, and Deputy Inspector General of Police, I.G. Wentuwest, Brigadier P.G. Charles, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawarathna, Percy de Costa and Admiral Daya Sandagiri are some eminent administrators in the field of Sri Lanka Volleyball. Air commodore Ananda Samarakoon, Brigadier B.G. Charles, Mervin J. Cooray, Regi Ranathunga, Dilan Perera, Susil Ranasingha and Rohan Somawansha represented the World Congress of the international volleyball federation. V.A. Sugathadasa has been the President. Mervin J. Cooray and Dilan Perera have been the Vice President and Susil Ranasingha has been the Deputy Secretary of the National Olympic Committee.

Volleyball Clubs in Sri Lanka
In addition to the state and mercantile organizations, the contribution of the sports clubs towards the upliftment of volleyball cannot be forgotten. The contributions towards the development of Volleyball by the sports clubs like Central Sports club, Gampaha Kelani Valley sports club, and St. Don Bosco sports club -Hanwella, United Sports club – Galoya, CMS sports club – Kotte, Eksath Tharu sports club – Thudella, Parakrama sports club- Minuwangoda, Tharuna Tharu sports club – Kaduwela, Christian school sports club – Baddegama, Nalanda college sports club – Minuwangoda, Lucky Six sports club – Pothupitiya, Siyene Tharu sports club – Gampaha, Central sports club – Kolonnawa, Friends sports club – Wellampitiya, United Sports Club – Nattandiya, Nawakatharu Sports Club – Negombo, Blue Diamond Sports Club – Kandangamuwa, United Sports Club -Tricomalee, Kapila Sports Club – Siyambalagoda, United Sports Club – Mirihana, United Sports Club – Madampe, New Six Sports Club – Koswadiya, and Wijaya Sports Club – Jaffna and District Sports Club – Mannar are commendable.
In order to develop any sports in the national or/ and international arena sponsorship is very important. Caltex, Lake House, People’s Bank, Sri Lanka Brewery Ltd, John keels, DSI, Dialog, Ceylon Biscuits Company are the leading sponsors for Volley Ball in Sri Lanka.
Professional Volleyball players in Sri Lanka.
Today large number of Volleyball players both men and women are playing volleyball as well as beach volleyball in the international arena. But there are handfuls of professional volleyball players available in Sri Lanka. But during the recent past, Sri Lankan volleyball players got an opportunity to play volleyball in a professional level in Qatar, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and especially in Maldives.
Employment Opportunities for Volleyball players in Sri Lanka.
The Government and private sector have come forward to provide employment for the volleyball players in order to enhance their livelihood. This provided an opportunity to get a permanent income for the volleyball players of this country. At the time of celebrating the centenary event we recall the services rendered by the institutions with respect. Lalith Athlathmuthali, the former minister of Trade and Shipping, Wimal Amarasekara, the first Chairman of the Sri Lanka Port Authority are the pioneers who brought the concept of providing employment for the volleyball players in the Port Authority during 1987. The present Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wikramasinge when he served as a Minister of Youth Affairs and Education from 1982 to 1990, was instrumental in providing employment for the volleyball players in the education sector as well as the youth service council. A large number of volleyball players who excelled in the National level were given employment during this period. We recall the valuable services rendered by him with thanks. At the meantime we recall the valuable services rendered by Charitta Rathwatthe and Sunil Jayaweera as well. Hon. Ranil Wickramasinge was instrumental for inaugurating Rupawahini youth volleyball tournament in 1982. Subsequently during the period from 1995 to 1997 the then State Minister of Ports and the President of Volleyball Federation.
Hon. Regi Ranathunge and the then State Minister of Ports and Foreign Employment and Welfare Hon. Dilan Perera came forward to provide employment for our volleyball players in the state sectors. At the meantime, CTB, Army, Navy, Air force, Maththegoda, Pogoda, Veyangoda Textiles, Martine Impex, Braform, FDK Lanka (the Institutions of Free Trade Zone), Sri Lanka Police, Brandix, Mass Holdings, Casualine and National Youth Council are the institutions that have been providing employment for the volleyball players since then to now.
Volleyball for differently disable persons in Sri Lanka indeed it’s a great pleasure to recall that disabled volleyball players of Sri Lanka who have become disabled by birth and meeting with some accidents excelled in the international volleyball tournament held for differently abled persons and won many awards and brought the fame to our nation. The disabled volleyball team of Sri Lanka which was captained by Aratha Kumara Ratnayake won a Bronze medal in the World disable volleyball championship held in Cambodia in 2011. Lalith Premlal was the coach. The Asian disabled Beach Volleyball tournament was held in Malaysia in 2011 where KMA Priyankara, MB Amarasinge, PMK Jayathissa the team that comprised them won Silver medal. Nalin Abeysinge was the coach. International qualifying disabled Beach volleyball tournament was held in 2012 at Germany. The Sri Lankan disabled men team comprising KMK Priyankara, MB Amarasinge, and PMK Jayathissa won a Silver medal. W. Upali, SN. Senevirathne, MMMB. Herath won a Bronze medal and Nalin Sampath Abeysinge was the coach in both occasions.
Media at the time of commemorating the centenary of Sri Lanka volleyball we recall the services rendered by the media with thanks. Pramasiri Apasinghe, Michel Karunathilake, Palitha Perera, Saman Athavutha Hetti, Sunil Abeywardana, Karunadasa Sooriyarachchi, Nimal S. Perera, Roshan Watawala, Haritha Perera, Mahesh Perera, C. Ratnamuthali, Nalin Sampath Abeysinghe, Saman Abeywardana, Ratnathilaka Jayaweera are the media personnel who enhanced volleyball in Sri Lanka through the electronic media by their live telecast. At the meantime P. Ananthappa, MM. Thowfeek (Daily News), Thusita Nanayakara (Dinamina Sports), Sunil Abeywardana (Kreeda), Lesley Fernando (Daily News), Mhinda Jinadasa (Janatha), Ashoka Gunathilaka, Susil Pramlal, Indrajith Subasinghe (Divayina), Reemes Fernando (The Island), Namal Pathirage, Daminda Wijesooriya (Lanka Deepa), Karunadasa Sooriyaarachchi (Sunday Divaina), Dammika Rathnaweera (Rivira), Sirajivi Srimanna (The Island), Bernard Perera (Daily News), T. B. Rahman (Ceylon Today), Sarath Pramthilaka (Kreeda), Bandula Jayaweera (Kreeda), A. R. Faris (Thinakaran), Jagath Ashoka (Lakbima), Sirinama Rajapakhsa & Seevali Ediriweera (Maubima), Nevil Anthony (Verakesari) and Tirankumara Bangaarachi (Ravaya) are the media personnel who promoted volleyball in their respective media. We recall their services with thanks.

Black mark in the volleyball history of Sri Lanka
Some volleyball players and coaches who represented the Sri Lanka Volleyball in the international arena have abandoned the matches and escaped. We are regretting to recall their behavior at the time of commemorating the centenary of volleyball and it is a black mark in the history of the volleyball. The volleyball federation should educate the people to prevent such incidents. Some volleyball players and coaches escaped at the international tournaments held in 1992 at Germany, in 1992 at Japan, in 1995 at Japan, in 1995 at South Korea, in 2011 at Germany and in 2014 at Seoul of South Korea. It is the responsibility of sport authorities to take action according to the provision under (N) of the para 15 of the extra ordinary gazette No.1796/3 dated 15/01/2013 issued with regard to the Sports Act No.27 of 1973, and if necessary arises it is advisable to enact new laws to deal with such persons.
Volleyball Journals of Sri Lanka
Magazines like Ceylon Sportsmen in 1922, past history of Sri Lankan Volleyball by DC. Alahendra in 1985, Sri Lanka Volleyball Guide by M. Benjamin in 1952, Volleyball Maga by Piyal Wickramasinga, Volleyball News in 1985, Sri Lanka Board of Control for Volleyball and the Evolution of Volleyball in Sri Lanka 1916-1985 by Wijerathne Athurupana, Volleyball from then and now by Susil Ranasingha in 2012 are the key materials which contributed towards the betterment and the publicity of volleyball which commarates its centenary.
Highlights of Sri Lanka Volleyball
Sri Lanka received the membership in the International Volleyball Federation in 1995. In year 2011, the International Volleyball Federation conducted ‘Volley All Festival’ in which 220 member states took part. The photography presented by Sri Lanka won the award for the best World Photography. Dr. Lal Ekanayake of the Medical Unit in the Sports Ministry was recognized by the International Volleyball Medical Council as the first FIVB doctor in 2011. We defeated India for the first time in 1995 and defeated Pakistan in 2006 and both are special victories we secured in the Asian Region. In these two victories, captainship by Kalika Wasanthapriya for Sri Lanka Volleyball Team is remarkable. In 1970, the Sri Lanka women volleyball team defeated India for the first time under the captainship of Nanda Ganegodage. The Vth SAF Games was held in 1991 at which the Sri Lanka Volleyball Team led by Abegunawardena Yapa defeated the Indian team and won the first gold medal for Sri Lanka Volleyball. This is the first time that the Sri Lanka Volleyball Team won a Gold Medal in the International Tournament. The year of 1991 is the era where the volleyball game was declared as the National Game of Sri Lanka with the approval of C. Nanda Mathew, and then Minister of Sports based on a proposal brought by a Sub-Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Vini Witharana. We are happy to say that Sri Lanka is the only country that has recognized the volleyball as her national game among 220 countries in the world playing volleyball.

The constitution consisting of a set of rules for the International Volleyball Federation was prepared and enacted in 1951 and later on it was amended in 1974 and 1992 respectively. On the recommendation of the International Volleyball Federation and the International Olympic Committee, it was again amended in 2015. At the time of commarating the centenary of volleyball, it is noteworthy to say that we won 02 Gold Medals, 07 Silver Medals and 06 Bronze Medals in volleyball. Further, Sri Lanka was able to win 02 Gold Medals, 06 Silver Medals and 02 Bronze Medals in Beach Volleyball. Sri Lanka won one Gold Medal, two Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal in volleyball for differently abled persons. In the order of the grading of International Volleyball Federation, Sri Lanka Senior Men’s Volleyball Team stands the 67th rank, Senior Women Team stands the 119th rank, Junior Men’s Team stands the 36th rank, Junior Women’s Team stands the 30th rank, Youth Boys Team stands the 23rd rank, and Youth Girls Team stands the 65th rank. In the meantime, Sri Lanka Beach Volleyball of Men and Women Teams stand the 09th rank among 65 other Asian countries. According to the grading of Sports Ministry, the Volleyball and the Beach Volleyball come under the first class sports category.
In the sports world it is a very rare occarance, that brothers and sisters, husband and wives are selected to play in the national Team. It is my duty to record here such instances in volleyball field for the benefit of progeny. Siriwardana and Piyaratna Brothers, Pushpa and Pilishiya Siriwardane Sisters, Seetha and Sunethra Kulatunga sisters, Channa and Keerthi Jayasekara Brothers, represented in Sri Lanka National Volleyball Team. Likewise recalling Mother and Father playing Volleyball in Sri Lanka National Team in the same period and two decades later their son representing in the National Volleyball Team is noteworthy and should be specially recorded in the 100th year celebration of Volleyball in Sri Lanka. In the Similar manner, Kalika Wasanthapriya and Christobel Rosa is also Husband and Wife who played Volleyball in the National Team. This couples son, Lasintha Methmal is presently playing volleyball in the National Team. It is a commendable achievement. The Volleyball couple like, Amal Jeevan and Dipika Kumari, A.T.M. Shafie and Chintha Dilrukshi, Rangika Mahawatta and Luman Saparamadu’s Love life was built around Volleyball and started their family lives. Sophaya Dharmasena, yasa Ramachandra, Renuka Abeywardhana Yapa, Sasika Samarasinghe and Chamarika Virajani played not only is the National Volleyball Team but also played in the International Netball Tournament representing Sri Lanka Netball Team There are rare achievements in Sri Lankan Sports history.
So far, Sri Lanka has been able to organize 07 international volleyball tournaments and 04 international beach volleyball tournaments within its territory. In 1991, M.M. Sirisena, then Director of Education and then Vice President of Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation composed a thematic song of volleyball to mark as national game and it is a remarkable fact to recall at the time of commarating volleyball. Ruben Agosto, President FIVB Yasutaka Matudahira and Jewson Weigh who were the Presidents of Asian Volleyball Confederation visited Sri Lanka in 1986, 1995 and 2004 respectively and their visits are still significant events to Sri Lanka. Air commodore Ananda Samarakoon, Mervin J. Cooray, Regi Ranathunga, Brigadier B.G. Charles, Dilan Perera, Susil Ranasingha and Rohan Somawansha were the Sri Lankans who represented World Congress of the international volleyball federation.

Before winding up my short message, at the time of commemorating the centenary event of volleyball in this year 2016, I would like to draw the attention of the present volleyball authorities, volleyball players, coaches and the volleyball fans regarding the challenges ahead to be overcome by us in the South Asian Volleyball Tournament including Asian volleyball games for seniors, juniors and youth, and to move our team towards the o4 final teams by impending year 2020. Sri Lanka beach volleyball team has already secured a place among the 09 final teams in the Asian beach volleyball series and it is our dream that Sri Lanka should win Gold and Silver medals. It is our responsibility to provide our young players with necessary infrastructure facilities like indoor stadium and new technologies for achieving this target and thereby we could mark this centenary of volleyball success which won two silver medals for men and women in SAF Games held recently and make our dreams a reality.
At this time of commarating the centenary of volleyball, it is my duty and responsibility to emphasize the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mithripala Sirisena who was the Chief Guest for inauguration ceremony of Seeduwa Davisamara School Indoor Sports Complex and the President Golden Cup finals – 2015 held on 21st of November, 2015, and the present Sports Minister Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara who loves volleyball and hails from North Western Province, on the importance of the sponsorship from government towards the betterment of Sri Lanka Volleyball in future.


© sportsinfo.lk | Triomedia PPL | By Susil Ranasinghe, General Secretary (2005/2015) Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation

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