Successful Open Golf Day for juniors
In a bid to promote golf amongst its students the Old Anandians’ Professional Forum ‘GOLF DAY’ was organized by the Junior Golf Development Committee of Sri Lanka Golf at Ananda College conducting an “Open Golf Day” on Saturday the 12th March 2022.
The initiative was the brainchild of the Old Anandians’ Professional Forum [OAPF] along with the Sri Lanka Golf Junior Development Committee. The OAPF President and Defense Secretary, Gen. Kamal Gunarathne graced the occasion with Secretary of Education Prof. Kapila Perera as the Chief Guest. Joint Secretaries Air Vice Marshall Udeni Rajapksha and Mr. Ravi Masakorale along with Coordinator Ananda College Golf, Lt. Commander Hrasha Udawatte were responsible for the elaborate arrangements made for the historic event.
The Principal Mr. Lal Dissanayake welcomed the distinguished gathering and thanked the President of the Old Anandians Professional Forum and Secretary, Ministry of Defence Gen. Kamal Gunarathne for the guidance and initiation of introducing Golf to Ananda and also thanked the Junior Development Committee Chairperson for all the support.
The Chief Guest Prof. Kapila Perera in an inspiring speech recalled his association with Golf during his youthful student days, in the United States and in Japan. Professor Kapila emphasized the relevance and importance of the sport of Golf to a student, especially in terms of discipline, the combination of the mind and physical effort building the character of a rounded individual in an excellent sport popular internationally.
Gen. Kamal Gunarathne in his speech confirmed that Golf may appear an easy and slow game but he reiterated that he has started playing the game a year ago and he finds that the game provides a great challenge but it also provides a sweet moment each day. The Secretary Ministry of Defence also requested the young students to take this opportunity and become future champions in Golf and to maintain the record of Ananda College in Sports and achievements.
Mr. Thilak De Silva Deputy Director Laugfs Group speaking as a Guest of Honour recalled his connection with Golf as a Member of the RCGC and hoped that the students of Ananda College will make history in the sport when you play.
The President Sri Lanka Golf Michael Magala Perera, thanked the OAPF and the Principal of Ananda for the excellent arrangements made to introduce Golf to Ananda. President Magala responding to a comment by the Chief Guest Prof. Kapila Perera who wished that Ananda College will invite and include Sister Schools in the vicinity to play Golf with the Anandians, requested Secretary Ministry of Education to facilitate the government schools in every district to have the opportunity to for girls and boys alike, to play Golf by providing an area for a Driving Range which Sri Lanka Golf will ensure that students will be provided with all the other facilities required to play Golf.
A presentation on the game of Golf followed and the presenter on behalf of the Junior Development Committee reminded the students that Golf is a game which can be played at the professional level even as a Senior on the International Senior Tour which is also very financially viable, unlike in Cricket where age is a restriction to run about and field etc; The success of Sri Lankans winning Silver Medals at the Beijing 1990 & Seoul 2000 Asian Games, like many professional golfers in the world has an ‘open door’ for any one with the talent and hand-eye coordination which Sri Lankans are the best for. The success of Sri Lankans as Professional Golfers on Tour and as the Winners of Gold Medal individual and Team event at the last SAAF games too was played on video inspiring all the “junior golfers to be”, present on the occasion.
There were over 60 enthusiastic students at the college grounds who participated in the Open Golf Day where they were given an opportunity to hit golf balls in the school cricket ground. The program facilitates 30 kids selected from the ‘Open Day’ to start further training at Welisara Aqua Golf range with the coaching provided and facilities sponsored by Sri Lanka Golf.
Golf remains the fastest growing sport worldwide. Long considered an elitist sport it has now become more accessible to a much wider strata of society. It also remains the sport with biggest prize money and earning potential globally, for those who make it to the international stage.
Golf is a sport of skill much like cricket and Sri Lanka thus has the potential to produce world champions if the necessary infrastructure, coaching, and other requisites are available said Mrs. Niloo Jayatilake, Chairperson of the Junior Subcommittee of the SLGU. Commenting further she said that Ananda College has been the cradle of some of the finest cricketers this country has produced and there is no reason why the school should not produce champions in Golf as well who will go on to national or even international representation.