‘Volleyball Legends Ceylon to Sri Lanka’ | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

‘Volleyball Legends Ceylon to Sri Lanka’

21 November, 2021

The author of the book ‘Volleyball Legends - Ceylon to Sri Lanka’ Susil Ranasinghe presenting a copy to Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa at the launch in the presence of (from left) president SLVB Kanchana Jayaratne, former president SLVB, Dilan Perera and Cuban ambassador Andrew Marcelo Gonzalez

A book titled ‘Volleyball Legends Ceylon to Sri Lanka’ was launched on Tuesday at the Galle Face Hotel with Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa. Authored by Susil Ranasinghe a former member of National Sports Council for ten years, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVB) 2004-10 and Assistant Secretary of National Olympic Committee he has taken great pains in producing this volume to provide the whole history of the sport in the island.

Ranasinghe has been a keen follower of sports in Sri Lanka which has helped him to create the new vision to promote the game here. Earlier too he has written two books in Sinhala on sports for which he was awarded the President’s Award for the Best Publication on Sports in 2017.

The latest publication titled ‘Volleyball Legends - Ceylon to Sri Lanka’ is in English. It chronicles a significant era as it gives the reader and the foreigner a good insight into volleyball since its introduction during the colonial period in 1904.

Though volleyball was played here it did not get the due recognition until 1954 when a national team was formed. This team had the opportunity of only playing against Indian State teams. With the game picking up with the local community on a large scale it was declared as the national sport in Sri Lanka in the year 1991.

The author expects the book to be given free as he believes that it will attract more followers of the sport of volleyball in Sri Lanka with all legends of the past. All available details of the legends are provided with their details highlighted in this volume. It will also help research on Sri Lankan volleyball.

Minister Rajapaksa addressing the invitees said that Susil Ranasinghe has written this volume with the hope of educating the general public on the history of the national sport of volleyball and its past performers who dedicated their sporting abilities by engaging in the sport from its inception. “This portrays the interest he had for the national sport which will be of immense value to all readers who get the opportunity to read the game,” said Minister Rajapaksa.

“As a sportsman during my school career I too had undergone many hardships to be part of my team. All sportsmen must dedicate themselves by following all instructions and all other advice given by their coaches if they really have the intention of reaching international level,” he added.

He also said that he appointed the National Sports Council with persons who excelled in sports at foreign competitions and they are capable of providing the country with the right guidance.

“I take their advice and guidance before making final decisions,” said the Minister.

He thanked the Volleyball Federation for giving all the assistance to Susil Ranasinghe to make his vision a grand success.

President of the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka Dian Gomes said that to be a medal winner a sportsman or sportswoman has to make a lot of sacrifices.

“For me to win at an international competition it took eight years. Why I say this is to show the difficulty to reach the top. If I stopped halfway I would have never have achieved that.

“Winning can never be achieved in a short period of practice. There must be targets and the right frame of mind,” said Gomes.

The oldest living volleyball player who was a member of the first men’s National team in 1954, 98-year old Weerasinghe, and one of the best women players who represented the National team, 85-year old Beatrice Chandralatha were felicitated by the SLVB and were awarded gold medals which were presented to them at the ceremony.

Also present on the occasion were the the ambassador of Cuba, Andrew Marcelo Gonzalez, former president of the SLVB and Deputy Speaker, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, former SLVB president and Parliamentarian Dilan Perera and the incumbent president and Chairman of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council, Kanchana Jayaratne.