“I will never leave my school for a big one in Colombo’: Faith-oriented Anjelica hit tennis by chance | Sunday Observer

“I will never leave my school for a big one in Colombo’: Faith-oriented Anjelica hit tennis by chance

Anjelica Kurera
Anjelica Kurera

Tennis prodigy Anjelica Kurera added yer another title to her overflowing trophy cabinet last week when she won the Under-18 National championships to go along with the Women’s Open title which she bagged earlier.

To win the women’s Open singles event she annihilated her opponent in the final 6-1, 6-0 and won the Under-18 title by beating Savini Jayasuriya 6-1, 6-1.

Anjelica is a strong believer in her Faith as a conservative Catholic studying at Ave Maria Convent in Negombo and had seen her church devastated by a jihadist bomber who claimed the lives of nearly one hundred members of the congregation at Easter Sunday mass this year.

As many as five top schools in Colombo had looked to stealing her away but Anjelica is head-strong and swore in an interview with the Sunday Observer that she will never forget her beginnings and the people she holds near and dear at her present school.

She must be quite a role model for most sporting personalities who jump into ecstasy at the thought of playing for a big school in Colombo and forgetting their beginnings.

She never dreamed of playing tennis until the school asked students to name their favourite sport one day. The rest in history.

Excerpts of the interview:

Q. How did you start tennis?

Almost by accident. In Grade 2, the school gave us (students) a form to fill stating the sport we’d like to play. Tennis was at the top. I chose it and it interested me.

Q. Have the “big schools” in Colombo shown an interest in enrolling you?

Yes. I was approached by at least five different schools. But I will never leave Ave Maria Convent Negombo. My principal, Sister Shermila Jayawardene and past principal Sister Shirani Algama gave me unconditional support all the way.

Q. Who was your mentor?

Coach Sudantha Soysa is my present coach, but earlier a Tamil gentleman Mr Pathirathan gave me the initial training.

Q. To what do you attribute your success?

(Anjelica grins) The power of Jesus. I believe he helps me and of course my parents.

Q. Do you also consider yourself a lucky person?

Yes. I was born on April 28 and on my birthday I won the ITF Under-18 title. (An international tourney).

Q. What kind of reaction do you get from your school friends?

At the beginning I had some problems trying to convince them, but now they are all behind me in support of what I do.