Uwin Ariyaratne the Jack of all trades | Sunday Observer

Uwin Ariyaratne the Jack of all trades

Ariyaratne on the rugby field
Ariyaratne on the rugby field

Anyone’s and everyone’s dream and desire is to rise and shine, academically and extra-curricular activities-wise. However, it is so elusive, only a few and rare pull-it off. Entering and expanding that list is the fine all-rounder Uwin Ariyaratne.

He is in his youthful years itself and has developed the golden touch. Gold itself seems to have taken a major liking to him; medals are attracted like a magnet.

The 26-year-old appears to be that wonder and well-balanced boy. But his boyish looks are steadily being taken over by a masculine man and the Kandy lad is already the owner of a number of records, in sports and in the area of academics.

Ariyaratne, a past pupil of Kingswood College, Kandy and Vidyartha College, Kandy was the First XV rugby captain of Kingswood College in 2012. He was also the vice-captain of the Sri Lanka University Rugby Team for the World University Rugby 7s Championship in 2018 held in Namibia in July 2018 where they were placed eighth in the world.

He had not only attracted medals, but also the army to play for them.

“When we leave school, they tend to invite to come and play. Instead, I opted to enter the university. I played for my university as well as for Sri Lanka Universities,” he told the Sunday Observer.

As the eldest of the family of four, he has led by example. His calibre of real all-rounders, with a plethora of awards and accolades, have become an iota, in this digitally distracted day and age. Ariyaratne’s long-list of medals and trophies are only growing; it may prompt him to go for a trophy cabinet, in due course.

The physical game of rugby; requiring a physique that would withstand the rough and tough has rewarded that. While that box is ticked, he has already got a feel of another sport meant for the body. The sport of wrestling with twists turns and tackles.

He obtained, the University Colours for wrestling and rugby from 2015-2018 and was endowed as Best Wrestler in 2015, as the inter-university wresting Champion. That period was like the heydays, as in rugby too he was named the Best Rugby Player 2016 for being the highest try scorer (14 tries, 5 matches) at the Sri Lanka University Games.

Speaking about the challenging aspects, he said: “My main challenge was time management. I did a lot of things; academically and extracurricular activities. The biggest challenge was managing all the activities within 24-hours,”

Asked how he overcame that, he responded: “Merely planned ahead”.

“That is short-term and long-term planning. The short-term goal, of course, was my Bachelor’s. Long-term, I’m trying to do my PhD in finance, to continue as an academic,” said Ariyaratne as he let the cat out of the bag.

Now, an Assistant lecturer, at the Management Faculty of the Peradeniya University, he has set his sights on continuing in this profession. To work towards becoming a successful academic. Guide all students in the right direction. He has also spent some part of his youthful life, at the Sri Jayawardenapura University, during the quest to become a graduate and credits the free education system and the taxpayers of Sri Lanka.

His goal was to balance both. “I did not want to go extreme in sports. Because we must sacrifice some time in sports.

If you’re going to be a professional sportsman, you need to sacrifice everything,” he declared.

He has already made the most as a university student. “In university life, I did it to the maximum level. I got Sri Lanka university Colours and participated by sporting these Colours. That is the maximum level, as a university-level, you can go,” he said.

“I think, the athletes must have more support than they are getting now. Firstly, financial support. Most of the sports, they don’t have any contracts. In cricket and rugby, they have. In rugby, though, not much. The financial support is a must. Because, when one goes on as a full-time professional athlete, they need money. The current system, what they are doing is they join the forces or play Mercantile,” he explained.

Drawing an example he said that the netball players who won the Asian championship are receiving only Rs. 30,000 per month, on a contract basis.

“It’s said, it is inadequate to cover their nutritional needs.

“Administrative help should also improve. From the ministries et al,” said Ariyaratne.