Former wushu player plans to introduce new sport - ‘Chigon’ | Sunday Observer

Former wushu player plans to introduce new sport - ‘Chigon’

21 March, 2021

Eranga Weerasinghe is a former basketball and wushu player who has represented Sri Lanka in both games. He is a double sportsman which is rare in any country.

He shone in sports and education and could be considered as a role model for youth. The Youth Observer caught up with him to discuss his career in sports.

Q: Eranga, to what game were you attracted first?

A: Basketball is my first love where sports is concerned. I became a basketball player in my young days. At that time I was boarded at the Ananda College hostel and the basketball court was right in front of it. I saw senior basketball players practise there every day. That was how I was attracted to this game.

Q: How did you find success in this sport?

A: I was not an extraordinary player in the beginning. But I was determined to be a top player and kept on practising regularly. That was how I found success.

Q: When did you first represent your school in basketball?

A: I first represented my school in the under-13 team. Later I represented the school in the other age groups. I also captained the school team. The team won a championship under my leadership and I was awarded the title ‘Best Attacking Player’ in the final. As a boy who came to the city from a village, it was the high point in my sports career.

Q: Did you not captain the national schools’ basketball team?

A: Yes. I got the chance to captain the under-19 team and youth national team. I also captained the team to the Asian Games. That was my first international event.

Q: How did you become a Wushu player?

A: After I passed the GCE Ordinary Level examination , I decided to follow the Maths’s stream in the GCE Advanced Level class. After sitting the Advanced Level examination, I had free time and took part in Wushu. I was attracted to it like a magnet. However, I only had a short time to study the rules and the nature of the game.

Q: You passed the Advanced Level examination. As a person involved in two sports activities how did you find the time to study?

A: I was staying in the hostel at that time. After sports training sessions we had plenty of time for studies. As such I faced the examination with confidence. I tell the younger generation that sports is not a hindrance for studies. I am an example of that.

Q: Didn’t Ananda College felicitate you for your achievements?

A: Yes. In 1997 they felicitated me by presenting me the ‘Ananda Padma’ award. That award is the highest award that is presented to a school boy at Ananda College.

Q: How was your performance in Wushu?

A: It was introduced to me by a friend. This game creates mindfulness. It is like meditation and I was attracted to it .

Fortunately, I had a chance to go to China on a Wushu scholarship. It helped me to improve my performance in this sport.

Q: What happened after you completed the scholarship?

A: I had a chance to represent the Sri Lanka national wushu team at the Asian Games where I won a Silver medal.

Q: But you had ended your career very quickly. What was the reason?

A: I wouldn’t say that. I finished the two sports very well. I was dominating in these two sports. In 2006, I took part in the South Asian Games and after that I decided to retire from sports. But I imparted my knowledge to youngsters and encouraged them to win medals for the country.

Q: Now you are trying to introduce a new sport in Sri Lanka. What is that sport?

A: I have studied a new sport called ‘Chigon’. It originated in China. It helps to develop mind strength and it has no age barrier. You can take up the game at any age. It also helps to develop the immune system.