Rohan Daluwatta:  A versatile sportsman



article_image

Daluwatte held the Ananda College records for 220 yards, Hop-step and Jump (Junior) Long Jump and senior Hop-step and jump events.


He was a member of the team when Ananda College won the Ceylon Public Schools Athletics Championship and claimed the prestigious Tarbet Challenge Cup. He was awarded the College and public schools colours in four events, namely, Hop step and Jump, long jump, 4x110 yards relay and 4x400 yards relay. Further, he was also a pioneer of CT&FC and won his events Hop step and jump and long jump at Inter-Club Championships.


He was an excellent wicket-keeper and a hard hitting middle order bat in the Ananda First XI in 1960.


There are many sportsmen and sports women in the island. They are mostly specialists in their own selective sport. Versatile sportsmen and sportswomen are a rare breed. A versatile sportsman can participate in many sports activities. To be a versatile sportsman is difficult, a challenge. Versatility is something you possess as a born talent.


A couple of days ago, I met General Rohan Daluwatte an outstanding sports personality, who brought credit and honour to Sri Lanka in his day, at his residence. He took part in many sports and performed at the highest level in athletics, basketball, badminton, tennis and cricket. He obtained school colours for these sports at Ananda College Colombo.


When Rohan Daluwatte the former Commander of the Army retired, he was appointed as the Head of the newly formed Joint Operations Command and later as Chief of Defence Staff with the rank of General. One of the achievements of his military career was to give leadership in the liberation of the Jaffna Peninsula by conducting operation Riviresa. After retirement from military service, he served as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Brazil.


Rohan Daluwatte had his Primary Education in a leading Buddhist school – Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya, Sri Lanka. Here, he shone as an outstanding junior athlete. Later, he joined Ananda College, Colombo. He won the title of junior athletics Champion in 1950, senior champion in 1958 and 1959 respectively and open champion in 1960.


Daluwatte held the Ananda College records for 220 yards, Hop-step and Jump (Junior) Long Jump and senior Hop-step and jump events.


He was a member of the team when Ananda College won the Ceylon Public Schools Athletics Championship and claimed the prestigious Tarbet Challenge Cup. He was awarded the College and public schools colours in four events, namely, Hop step and Jump, long jump, 4x110 yards relay and 4x400 yards relay. Further, he was also a pioneer of CT&FC and won his events Hop step and jump and long jump at Inter-Club Championships.


He was an excellent wicket-keeper and a hard hitting middle order bat in the Ananda First XI in 1960.


In 1957, to 1960, he captained the Ananda College Badminton Team and emerged senior doubles champion and runners-up in the senior singles. He had been a member of the College Tennis Team in 1959 and 1960.


He was also an outstanding cadet at Ananda, where he learned the basics in Army training.


He enrolled in the Junior Cadet Platoon No. 1 in 1956 and attended the annual training camp that year as a Lance Corporal. In 1957, he, again attended the training camp, as sergeant. In both years, the Ananda College platoon emerged first in order of merit among Sri Lanka schools and won the CLI challenge cup. In 1959, he attended the senior cadet camp as Lance Corporal. He was a member of the College Rifle Club and represented the club in shooting championships. Rohan has been a prefect both of the hostel and the school. He joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1961 as a cadet officer.


Daluwatte was born on 9th May 1941. He hails from a highly respectable family from Ambalangoda. His father D. H. Paulis De Silva was a fine outstanding Athlete of S’Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and a reputed planter. His mother was D. W. Leela Somawathie from Weligama. He has four brothers and a sister, namely Susantha, Pinsiri, Rupasiri, Dhanasiri and sister Malini.


He joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1961 as an officer cadet. After being enlisted in the Army, he was sent to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, United Kingdom for Military Training. During his stint at RMPS, United Kingdom, he took part in many co-curricular activities. In the Sandhurst Military Academy, he excelled in athletics, badminton and basketball. Participating in a Western European Military Cadets Athletics Meet (WEMCAM) as well as a meet against Oxford, Cambridge, Dartmouth and Cranwell. His greatest achievement was winning the Hop Step and Jump, (his pet event throughout his athletics career) at the British Army Championships. He was awarded colours.


Daluwatte had the proud distinction of representing the British Combined Services Team in Hop-step and Jump and was awarded combined services colours too. He also captained the Sandhurst Basketball team.


Daluwatte came first in the order of merit out of the Sri Lankan cadets, and was commissioned to the First Reconnaissance Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured corps. He never gave up sports. In the army he played Badminton, Tennis and Basketball.


The National Sports Council member Major General Dr. C. Thurairajah, once told the present writer that Daluwatte is one of the best basketball players produced by Sri Lanka.


He is currently serving as the chairman of the Gems and Jewellery authority.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...