Maxwell back in SLTA fore

Last week, last year’s head of affairs, Maxwell de Silva, representing the Colombo Swimming Club, was appointed uncontested for the second successive year as the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) President for another one-year term at its Annual General Meeting held at the SLTA premises in Green Path last Sunday (March 28).

Vipul Perera representing the Matale Sports Club was appointed the General Secretary of the SLTA for the first time replacing Boshan Dayaratne, who held that post during last tenure. Dayaratne was the first CEO of the SLTA. Kumar Gunawardena meanwhile, representing the Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club, became Treasurer for another period of one year.

History -

De Silva, last June, became the 31st President of the SLTA, which has been founded in 1915 under the name the Ceylon Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) with the then Governor (Sir) Robert Chalmers as its first President. (Sir) Chalmers was followed by an array of respected personalities of the island ranging from the Governor Generals to leading Government Servants and politicians of the country, during the last 95 years of its existence.

Armed Forces –

The notable feature of the new SLTA Committee is the high number of representation of the three Armed Forces. There are as many as eight (8) reps from the Forces in this 34-member committee this year.

They are namely: Maj. Gen. Chandana Rajaguru and Commodore J. D. Amaranayake holding two of the six Vice Presidents posts, Sqdn. Ldr. Samantha Weerasekera as one of the four Asst. Secretaries, former Gen. Secretary Lt. Col. Shiran Abeysekera who will be the Ground Secretary this year and AVM Lalaka Peiris, Wg. Cmdr. Amal Wimalaratne, Cmdr. K. M. M. P. Karunatilake and Col. Ramesh Fernando who are taking four out of the 19 seats in this year’s general committee.

Meanwhile, former prominent players who represented Sri Lanka, P. Senaka Kumara from Queens SC, Aasiri Iddamalgoda from the SSC and Ganendran Subramaniam from NCC are also in the SLTA committee this year holding various responsibilities.

Other notable personalities in this year’s committee are former President Lalith Withana, representing the SLTA Playing Section, (Ms) Nandi W. Hewage, who represents the University of Colombo, and Bernard Jesuthasan, from St. Peter’s College, Colombo, and the SL Schools Tennis Association.

Lead Up to AGM 2010 –

Maxwell de Silva last year replaced Janaka Bogollagama as head of the SLTA following the latter’s 10-month long tenure as President of the first-ever SLTA Interim Committee which was appointed by the Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge in Aug., 2008.

Lokuge postponed the SLTA AGM in March 2008, when Bogollagama was completing his first year in office as President, and, five months later, in Aug. 2008, the Sports Minister appointed a nine-member interim administration under Bogollagama following gruesome in-fights at the tennis headquarters, aimed at the control of the sport, between two parties led by Bogollagama and former five-time President Suresh Subramaniam.

SLTA Committee – 2009/10

President: Maxwell de Silva

Secretary: Vipul Perera

Vice Presidents (6):

Lalith Withana, Dinesh Weerakkody, Angelo Patrick, Aasiri Iddamalgoda, Maj. Gen. Chandana Rajaguru and Commodore J. D. Amaranayake

Treasurer: Kumar Gunawardena

Asst. Treasurer: Asoka Abeywardane

Asst. Secretaries (4):

Irshard Othman, Sqdn. Ldr. Samantha Weerasekera, Arjuna Herath and Tissa Wijegoonewardane

Ground Secretary: Lt. Col. Shiran Abeysekera

Committee (19):

P. Senaka Kumara, (Ms) Sujani Bogollagama, AVM Lalaka Peiris, Wg. Cmdr. Amal Wimalaratne, Shehan Meegama, (Ms) Nandi W. Hewage, Tissa Wijegoonawardane, Cmdr. K. M. M. P. Karunatilake, Dr. Anura Danthanarayana, Lasantha Perera, Mohamed Anzer, Nalin Ranatunga, Senaka de Silva, (Ms) Jayathri Bodinagoda, Col. Ramesh Fernando, Seevali Wickramaarachchi, Dayantha de Silva, Ganendran Subramaniam and Bernard Jesuthasan.

History of the SLTA -

Tennis was introduced to Sri Lanka by the British. The History of the association began when a few planters and tennis enthusiasts met together to form the Ceylon Lawn Tennis Association in 1915.

His Excellency Governor Sir Robert Chalmers, then, the head of the land was the President of the association. The Association continued to have governors as its presidents till 1946. Governor being busy with state affairs, the responsibility for managing the association fell on the shoulders of the Secretary, Mr. R. G. Coombs, who later elected as vice president and president.

The Association was managed by a general committee and a district committee represented by Uva, Dickoya, Nuwara Eliya, Gampola, Dambulla, Kandy, Ratnapura,, Colombo, Galle, Kelani Valley, Kalutara districts and the Services represented by the Army and Navy.

The Association had its headquarters at the ‘Chalet’ in N’Eliya.It conducted a number of tournaments on the courts of the Colombo Lawn Club, situated at Victoria Park on the Municipal Council Property. When the Municipal council wanted to expand its park, the CLC members were asked to seek membership of the adjoining Garden Club. The members faced tough situation as the Garden Club was the exclusive preserve of the European community.

However on the intervention of the Mayor of Colombo, the lease of the Garden Club was terminated and the tennis courts were made available to the Lawn Tennis Association in 1954 during the presidency of T.E. de Silva.

The year 1971 saw a major change in the constitution of the Association initiated by the President M. T. Thiruchittampalam, The association then composed of individual members with voting rights and representatives of affiliated clubs without voting rights. This naturally did not meet the needs of a national body and hence numerous changes were incorporated. (Courtesy – www.srilankatennis.org)

www island.lk

Copyright©Upali Newspapers Limited.

Hosted by


Upali Newspapers Limited, 223, Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13, Sri Lanka, Tel +940112497500