Thurstan revives boxing after 20 years
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