Kandy Girls’ High School’s first karate black belt | Sunday Observer

Kandy Girls’ High School’s first karate black belt

12 June, 2021

Hirudini Dassanayaka is the first black belt in Karate produced by Kandy Girls’ High School. Hirudini prefered to be involved with a contact sport like Karate since her young days.

This week, The Youth Observer discusses with her how she balances her sport and studies.

Q: Hirudini, what is your full name?

A: I was named by my parents as Dassanayake Korale Hirudini Yashodara Dassanayake.

Q: How would you introduce yourself?

A: I am a karate player and have represented my country several times. I have also won a large number of medals.

Q: We heard that you passed last year’s GCE Advanced Level examination with flying colours showing that you have balanced sports and studies. Could you say something about the results?

A: At the GCE Advanced Level examination I obtained the best results in the Bio Science stream. I got three A passes and was ranked 12th in the Kandy district.

Q: Is it true that you are the first black belt in your school?

A: Yes, I am the first and I am very proud about it.

Q: We also heard that you passed the GCE Ordinary Level examination with flying colours. What were your results like in that examination?

A: I passed the Ordinary Level examination with nine As. I targetted nine As and achieved it. I am happy about that too.

Q: What is the secret behind you in these successes in studies?

A: Actually , it is a very simple method. I did my home-work every day. Sports helped me to balance my body and mind. I also learnt every lesson with deep concentration and memorized new knowledge as well. I always tried to work to a timeframe to balance my sports activities with my studies.

Q: What are your other achievements in school?

A: I have a very good reputation in my school. I was also appointed as the head prefect.

Q: Did you take part in other activities apart from karate?

A: Well, I participated in several events such as English drama. I also represented the school debating team and found success in the English language.

Q: When did your sports career begin?

A: I entered the primary class of Kandy Girls’ High School in 2007 and joined the martial arts class in 2010. That was the beginning of my sports career.

Q: Who was your martial arts teacher in your school days?

A: Rohitha Senivirathna was my martial arts teacher.

Q: In our culture not many girls take up martial arts. What made you take up karate?

A: I am the only child in my family. My father and mother were encouraging me to take up this sport in the early days. They knew my interest in karate and that martial arts helps one to lead a balanced life. That is the main reason I selected the sport.

Q: Your parents seem to be knowledgeable people. Are they professionals?

A: My father and mother are very knowledgeable and are a treasure for me. My father Nishantha Kumara Dasanayake,is an environmental officer at the Central Environmental Authority and my mother Upamalika is a teacher.

Q: Where do you live?

A: Balagolla, Kundasale in the Kandy district is our hometown.

Q: Do you remember the first martial art competition you took part in?

A: Of course I do. That was in 2011 at gymnasium of the Peradeniya university. After Sunday school I participated in the event but did not win. However, the defeat motivated me to find success.

Q: Did you tell your mother after your first participation in a karate competition that you would definitely win the following year?

A: Yes. I thought like that. In the years that followed I won several medals at provincial and district meets. Those wins showed me the way for international tournaments. My first foreign tour was to Malaysia in 2015.

It was the Mayor’s Cup tournament and I won a bronze medal. In the South Asian Karate Tournament in India 2016 I won a gold medal in the under-15 age group.

Q: Can you summarize your international achievements in karate?

A: I can tell you in point form the places where I participated and the medals I won.

1. Third South Asian Karate Championship 2016 organized by the South Asian Karate Do Federation in New Delhi, India. I won the Gold medal in the under-15 event.

2. Second Karate Mayor’s Cup Championship 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bronze medal in the kumite event.

3. Ninth Commonwealth Karate Championship in Durban, South Africa in 2018. Participated in the under-18 kata event.

Q: Could you tell me about your local achievements?

A: Yes I now have a black belt dan 1. I have also obtained the following places in the Karate do Federation National Karate Championship as a female kata: 2012 - second place, 2015 - first place, 2016 - first place, 2017 - second place, 2018 - first place .

National Schools Games organized by the Ministry of Education - all-island: 2015 - first place, 2017 - third place, 2018 - second place, 2019 - second place. I won the best player award in 2018 and also have represented the Sri Lankan National team since 2015.

Q: Who are the people who helped you to come to this stage in your life?

A: Yes, there are several who helped me to reach this level in karate. I thank my parents, madam Principal of Kandy Girls’ High School Mrs. M. Abeygunasekara, Deputy Principals, Assistant Principals, former Prefect of Games Mrs. Thanuja Gunasinghe, present Prefect of Games, Mrs. Priyani Dissanayake, all the teachers at Kandy Girls’ High School, karate coach sensei Rohitha Senevirathne (black belt 6th dan).