Thurstan re­vives box­ing after 20 years

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

Thurstan Col­lege has de­cided to re­vive box­ing after a lapse of two decades in a de­ter­mined bid to re­gain their glo­ri­ous past in the ring.

A force to be reck­oned with dur­ing the 70s and 80s, Thurstan pro­duced many out­stand­ing box­ers who shone at na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level be­fore the sport died a nat­u­ral death in the late 90s after the de­par­ture of their long-time men­tor Don­ald Mu­nas­inghe.

One of Mu­nas­inghe’s finest prod­ucts Ma­jor (retd) Mahinda Het­tiarachchi was in­stru­men­tal in co-or­di­nat­ing the re­vival of box­ing at Thurstan after or­ga­niz­ing a get to­gether of past box­ers who rep­re­sented the school on the ini­tia­tive of a for­mer Sri Lanka boxer Dushan­tha Kiriella last year.

“After get­ting the con­sent of the school au­thor­i­ties, I had to find a suitable per­son to coach. Al­laam Ous­man, a for­mer Royal box­ing coach, kindly con­sented to my per­sonal re­quest to take over as head coach. We hope to have an in­ter­house meet to pick a pool to take part in school tour­na­ments,” said Het­tiarachchi, who won the Stubbs Shield in­ter-school cham­pi­onship for an un­prece­dented seven years.

Box­ing was of­fi­cially launched at Thurstan on Thurs­day Jan­uary 10 when a dis­tin­guished old boy of the school Ma­jor Gen­eral Rukmal Dias, Com­man­der of the Sri Lanka Army Vol­un­teer Force, pre­sented box­ing equip­ment to be used by as­pir­ing box­ers in the school while a for­mer box­ing cap­tain Upul Shantha do­nated a cheque worth Rs.100,000 to the Prin­ci­pal Lak­sh­man Dias. Sev­eral past box­ers who also formed the Thurstan Box­ing Club were also present.

“Thurstan is about to restart box­ing after a lapse of 20 years and we have many ded­i­cated old boys to sup­port this ven­ture. We are very ea­ger to take part once again in ma­jor school meets in the fu­ture be­gin­ning with the L.V. Jayaweera tour­na­ment. We are very pos­i­tive, the school au­thor­i­ties will give us their fullest sup­port to help us achieve glo­ri­ous heights in box­ing,” said Maj. Gen. Dias who heads the Thurstan Box­ing Club which also com­prises Ni­lan Per­era, Prasad Gu­nasek­era and Priyan­tha de Silva.

“I am very happy that Thurstan is go­ing to start box­ing once again. Box­ing is a good form of phys­i­cal recre­ation for boys. It is a good op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to ex­cel in this sport. We have a very en­thu­si­as­tic and en­er­getic bunch of school­child­ren. Box­ing will help them show­case their tal­ents in a dis­ci­plined man­ner. I am sure we can reach great heights in the sport again,” Thurstan’s Prin­ci­pal said.

Di­lani Sa­ma­rasek­era who started hand­ball at Thurstan will play a key role as teacher-in-charge of box­ing. “Box­ing will give stu­dents an out­let to show­case their tal­ents and en­ergy through sport,” she said thank­ing the old boys for their sup­port and en­thu­si­asm.

Upul Shantha hand­ing over a cheque worth Rs.100,000 to the Prin­ci­pal of Thurstan Col­lege Lak­sh­man Dias at the school’s au­di­to­rium for the use of box­ing

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