Bodhi Liyanage: The policeman inseparable from sports | Sunday Observer

Bodhi Liyanage: The policeman inseparable from sports

16 August, 2020
Bodi Liyanage
Bodi Liyanage

Kandy mourned the unexpected and shocking loss of one of their best sportsmen, administrator and policeman in BM ‘Bodhi’ Liyanage three years ago.

He lived a full life and the giant of a man suffered a mishap when he fell from the staircase in his home.

The third death anniversary of the well known sportsman and promoter, Deputy Inspector General of Police Bodi Liyanage falls on August 18 and every sportsman and policeman in Kandy will remember him as the “trusted poors man’s helper”.Bodhi as he was popularly known, was president of the Kandy Football League and Football Federation of Sri Lanka and gave a big hand for whatever sporting event was held in Kandy like volleyball, cricket, lawn tennis, cue sport and table tennis.

His family has arranged an alms giving ceremony on this day at their residence in Katugastota. He was 69 years old at the time of his unexpected demise. Liyanage joined the Police in 1974 as a trainee ASP and held various positions during his 34-year service. He retired as senior DIG (Administration) and served in the Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Ampara districts during the height of the civil war and was the first Commandant of the STF in 1983.

He was an old boy of Mahinda College, Galle where he excelled in sports and at the University he took part in hockey, football and won his colours in rugby. It was in Kandy that he became well known for his good work in sports promotion.

His best period was with football where he rose to be President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL).

He took over the presidency of Kandy football in 1990 at a time when the game was at a low ebb and served in the committees of the Kandy Youth Sport Club, Kandy Sports Club, Kandy District Cricket Association, Kandy Volleyball Association, Cycling and boxing in the Central Province.

It was under his presidency that Kandy Football League won the Inter league tournament for the first time in 1992. The Kandy FL team was coached by Kumala Mohamed and the late S. Nadaraja was the Secretary. The winning team was given the opportunity to participate in a tournament in Nepal for the first time.

Liyanage also extended a big hand to promote sports in the Police department in Kandy and received the backing of DIGs Premadasa Udugampola and Chandra Mendis. He maintained the Police ground well and promoted all sports that made him dedicate his life to sports as an officer and a gentleman.