Vidura Shuttles their Way to New Badminton Heights
Badminton as a sport at Vidura College has prospered over the years since its introduction to the school in late 2004. Today the shuttlers at Vidura have come a long way, producing players to the national system. Their most recent noteworthy achievement came from the Under-15 age category, where the school’s girls became ‘A’ division champions in team events while the boys emerged team champions in the ‘B’ division.
According to Upali de Silva, the Manager of Sports Affairs at Vidura, badminton as a sport was introduced to Vidura College in November 2004.
“Since then the school has participated in almost all tournaments conducted by the Sri Lanka School’s Badminton Association. We have gradually developed to build our name as a dominant force in the school’s badminton field. All these achievements have become possible as a result of the great enthusiasm of the principal, D.G. Sumanasekara, Managing Director Indu Sumanasekara and Teachers-in-Charge Irosha Dissanayake and Sharmain Karunaratne. The efforts of past and present coaches namely Upendra Jayawardana and Hasitha Chanaka are commendable,” de Silva stated.
Besides their progress in the sport, Vidura has also constantly contributed players to the national stage. Their recent inputs to the stream are Hasara Wijeratne, Chathuni Wijesekara, Ayanjee Dassanayake, Mithin Thismalpola, Savindaka Wijesekara, Nisini Nishleshan and Sithum Gunawardana. Hasara has been outstanding as an Under-15 player and she was drafted to the national junior badminton pool for her excellent performances.
Chathuni, who led the Vidura’s Under-15 team at the recently-concluded Girls’ ‘A’ division tournament championship in Kurunegala, is also a notable player from the lot in addition to Ayanjee, who was outstanding at the competition. She was elevated to the ‘Super A’ grade for her noteworthy contribution during the tournament in Kurunegala. Other standouts from the team who are knocking on the doors of various national squads include Mithin and Savindaka who represent the Vidura Under-10 boys’ team and Nisini and Sithumi who represent the girls’ team of the same age category. The girls’ of Vidura have come out with some superlative performances since the 2009 season and have maintained a healthy run since then. They have won the Under-14, 15 and 16 Doubles ‘E’ division championships and the Under-16 Doubles championship in 2009. In 2011 Vidura’s girls won the Under-12, 14, 15 and 16 doubles in the ‘C’ division followed by two good performances a year later. In 2012 they pocketed the Under-10 runners-up title in the ‘C’ division as well as the Under-15 and 16 Doubles championships in ‘B’ division. This year so far, they have won the Under-16 ‘B’ division championship as well as the Under-15 ‘A’ division title.
Furthermore, the boys from Vidura too have fared well. In 2010 they won the ‘E’ division championship followed with the ‘D’ division title in 2011. In 2012 they won the Under-10 ‘C’ division championship. This year so far their Under-15 team has claimed the ‘B’ division runner-up title. But the most outstanding teams to reach the limelight are the Under-15 girls’ and boys’ teams who have improved tremendously. The school authorities hope that these two teams could produce champions of tomorrow in their quest to reach the national level and also promote the game among other students of Vidura.
The Vidura Under-15 girls’ team includes Hasara Wijeratne, Chathuni Wijesekara, Ayanjee Dassanayake, Lithmi Gunawardena, Sandini Amranath, Gayana Peiris, Nadara Gunawardena, Monadi Jayasinghe, Beenu Krishnadasa, Ayodya Gunasekara, Randi Amarasekara and Asini Nimaya.
Its boys’ team from the same age category is represented by Disal Subasinghe, Mihin Ratnayake, Kavishka Palihena, Movin Enakayake, Kakolya Silva, Minuk Weerakoon, Vinuk Thismalpola, Gayanuka Weerasekara, Sunera Karunaratne, Thevindu Bandara, Tehan Ekanayake and Yasiru Madawala.