Heavyweight Roy remembered on death anniversary | Sunday Observer

Heavyweight Roy remembered on death anniversary

10 January, 2021
Roy de Silva
Roy de Silva

Former National Olympic Committee heavyweight Roy de Silva was remembered by the Kandy sporting fraternity yesterday (Saturday) on his fourth death anniversary.

He passed away at the age of 80 was a gifted sportsman and promoter from a top public school Kingswood College after a short stint at St. Sylvester’s College.

Only a handful would remember the role played by officials to uplift sport at the time when facilities and resources were a luxury unlike today. If it be so, the name of Roy de Silva should never be forgotten in the field of sports and at the National Olympic Committee (NOC) level.

Roy was one of the finest sportsmen to come out of Kandy where he excelled at hockey, football, athletics and cricket. Hockey was his pet sport at school and even later.

After leaving school, Roy played for Kandy Whites hockey team and was an automatic choice for the Kandy District and Up-Country teams whenever they played against foreign sides.

He also took to hockey umpiring and helped his school in coaching.

At one time he was rated as one of the top umpires. Roy also played cricket as a right-arm spinner for Kandy United along with Dr. CDL Fernando, ME Marikar, Bertie Gomes and Mervyn Berenger. He was also a fine cueist and famous in billiards.

Later, Roy took to administration and was the secretary of the Kandy District Hockey Association for ten years and was elected as the president of the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation from 1979 to 1998.

During his term of office, the women’s national hockey championship was introduced and a Cup was presented by him. It is now held annually. He also had the rare privilege of being the vice president of the Asian Hockey Federation from 1979 to 1983.

But Roy had his biggest break when he was elected as vice president of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) in 1979 and held the post till he became president in 1983.

He was president for 14 years, which is a record. He was elected to the post of vice president of the Asian Olympic Council in 1986 and his finest moment came in 1990 when he was elected as the acting president of the Asian Olympic Council and had the privilege of opening the 1990 Asian Games in China.

He took the place of the then president of the Council, Sheikh Al Fahd Al Abah who was killed on the first day of the Kuwaiti invasion.

Roy also had the privilege of being in the finance committee of the Commonwealth Federation from 1990 to 1998 and was elected as the Life President of the SAF Games in 1996.

He is the first man from Kandy to take up the NOC president’s post.

He was one time president of the Kandy Cricket Club, Kandy District Cricket Association when several international games were played in Kandy. He presented a trophy in memory of the founder of Kingswood College LE Blaze for the rugby match between Kingswood and Wesley.

Roy was a huge driving force at the century old Kandy Club as its president and was a member for 35 years.