|Caltex sponsorship package to streamline Seevali
Seevali College Boxers from Ratnapura have been national champions for the past few years but achieved it sans any basic facilities in the sport. Many media institutions in the past had highlighted the conditions in which these talented children were training and bringing honour to their alma mater and the country. Caltex, having gained wind of the needs of these children and decided to step in as a socially responsible organisation in providing support to this talented team.
On October 09, 2002 a two-year sponsorship package covering boxing gear, equipment and other expenses was signed between Kishu Gomes, Managing Director, CLLL and D. M. Gunaratne, Principal, Seevali College at a ceremony held at the school. Nimal Dayawansa, Mayor of Ratnapura and Dinesh Punchinilame, Coordinating Secretary to the Minister of Small Holder Development were also present.
Speaking on the occasion the Principal of Seevali College, said that their students are talented and majority of students are scholarship holders. He was proud that his school was the only one to have the honour of sending a student to the Commonwealth Games this year. However the school has built a name and that has produced many good boxers but neither the students nor the school had the funds to develop the talents further and he thanked Caltex for stepping in to assist the college boxing team.
Sumith Edirisuriya Deputy Principal and Secretary of the Schools Boxing Association gave a brief history on how boxing came to be popular sport at Seevali College. It all started when W. Samith Kumara a student in year nine took part and won the National Schools Boxing Championship in 1994. Since then, boxing has been a key sport in the school with Wasantha Kumara a past pupil and boxer taking on the challenge of coaching the team. Mr. Edirisuriya added that individuals engaged in boxing should have a balanced diet and also have the correct nutrients, etc. However he was certain that the students taking to this sport dont take such a diet as they cant afford it. He also said that people accept boxers as troublemakers. However the school boxing team is a disciplined group of individuals who only consider boxing as a sport.
Kishu Gomes M.D. CLLL was highly impressed with the reception extended to Caltex as a sponsor and said it showed just how important this sponsorship is to the school. He also said that this should be a sign to other organizations to step in and render their assistance to schools such as this.
An exhibition bout between K. A. C. N. Alexander and H. P. K. M. Sugathadasa, two students who have brought fame to their school, concluded the ceremony.
Following the ceremony the sponsors and the media were taken round the training room being used by the boxing team. It was a dismal sight. The room consisted entirely of large steps on which the students trained. Apart for three punching bags there was no other equipment of fitness training. Coach Wasantha Kumara showed the inferior quality gloves which were used by the team. The assistance the team would derive from the sponsorship will add more light to the boxers and also help them overcome their basic needs.
Another move by the sponsors was the awarding of special gifts to boxers who represented the school at local and international meets. They were K.A.C.N. Alexander, H.P.K.M. Sugathadasa, A.K.G. Kamal Sameera, E.M. Kothalawela, P.Q.R.S. Patabendi, A.M.D.N. Abeysinghe, G.M.L. Kumara, K.G.L. Seneviratne, K.A.R.S. Kodithuwakku, G.A.D.A. Kumara, W.A.D.M. Wickremasinghe and H.I.R. Senanayake. Coach, W. Wasantha Kumara and Master-in-charge B.L.D. Wijesundara were also presented gifts by Caltex.
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