Life is full of surprises | Sunday Observer

Life is full of surprises

If you fail, remember that you tried, and wait for that ‘Great Day’ when you are crowned; to make yourself proud and make others believe in your actions. Determination and effort will definitely lead you to the place where you belong.

She changed obstacles into milestones, made impossibilities possible and discovered her own world. This courageous young spirit, a beauty queen, rocks the playing field. A former Miss Sri Lanka, Solange Kristina Gunawijeya shares her inspirational story with Youth Observer.

She is a sports person. Her love and attraction towards sports started in her childhood. Her strength, effort and determination made her represent the Sri Lankan National Basketball team in 2005. “I’m the youngest basket ball player to have represented the country and I became a double national player when I joined the Sri Lanka netball team. It is a record that nobody has broken yet”, said a smiling Solange. “I didn’t stop there.”

She discovered that life was full of surprises. In 2013 she won the ‘Miss Sri Lanka’ title and in 2014 the ‘Top Model of the World Sri Lanka’ title. In the same year she became the ‘Most Valuable Player’ at the National Sports Festival. Through all this, her parents and her little sister were with her. “My mom and sister are the ones who applied on my behalf for the contest, I didn’t know a thing about it at that time. First I said no, as I was discouraged because of my dark complexion. I never thought I’d become Miss Sri Lanka, but I did”, reveals Solange.

Our lives are filled with blessings. What we have to do is to follow our passion. And God will do the rest.

It all started with her school. Being a student of St. Joseph’s College, Nugegoda, she started playing netball in the under 13 category. The next year, she played for the Sri Lanka Netball team. When the Asian Championships came along she got selected for the Sri Lanka Women’s Basketball team. “When I was 15, I was a Double National Player” said Solange. Later on she became the ‘Most Valuable Player’ in Senior National Games.

Playing for the Sri Lanka Navy for eight years, she has partaken in many championships. Last year playing in the Mercantile Tournaments representing Commercial Credit, Solange once again won the ‘Best Player’ title along with the ‘Most Valuable Player’ title. She is an exceptional person on the playground. Being the tallest in the team (5’10”), Solange has made it a plus point for her team to win. “As a basketball player my height is advantageous in Sri Lanka, but when compared with foreign basketball players, I can’t be called tall,” Solange said.

Life gets tough sometimes. Even the strongest feels down in the face of difficulty. What is important is the way we face our problems. “In my life I have been down several times for several reasons. I managed to stand up each time, because my parents were there for me every time. I now have the courage to face anything that comes along”.

It was because of her hard work that she got the Miss Sri Lanka title. Being dark in complexion and winning the title, Solange proved that inner beauty is the most valuable rather than outer beauty. She was the only girl into sports. All other contestants were professional models. She heard things being said behind her back that almost discouraged her. But she stood against all that confidently.

The secret behind her success is that she focuses on different goals. In our lives we have plenty of dreams to achieve, so we don’t have to stick to one specific goal and give up everything when it goes wrong. Solange’s message for everyone who reads this is, not to limit yourself to one thing, just be free and choose what is best for your lives and achieve your goals.

When we climb the ladder of success, we must not forget the people who created the steps for us to climb. Solange remembers how her family’s warmth made her live each day. “There is no other place for me like home, I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family that cares for me and accepts me.

“My father who passed away several years back is yet my best friend. With him, mother and sister I feel perfect and blessed” said Solange. She is hoping for more achievements this year, along with her family.

Everybody deserves to be loved and this year Soalnge’s most important and exciting event will take place, her wedding. Of course she has other plans too. To be the captain of the Sri Lanka National Basketball Women’s Team and to become a manager at her workplace are her targets for the year. If you work with dedication, achievements will not be far away. Just be patient.