Old Mora Articles
Old Moratuwa Overpowers Old Wesleyites in Bowl Finale
Written by Editor    Saturday, 08 October 2011 17:36    PDF Print Email
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Old Moratuwa held their nerve in the second half to hold off a strong comeback effort by the Old Wesleyites to clinch the title in the final of the Bowl championship of the WPRFU Rugby Sevens which was worked off on the 24th and 25th of September at the Science College grounds, Mount Lavinia.

The champions were comfortably in front with an expedient 17-0 lead at lemons, courtesy of a goal and two tries. The Old Wesleyites regrouped to exploit the defense and scored a goal and a try in the latter half but that was all they could put up on the board, as Old Moratuwa took both the game and the Bowl championship 17-12.

“We switched to defensive mode in the second half, and they threw everything at us” told T.N.U. Pieris, Captain of the Old Moratuwa side after the game.

After a mixed bag of performances in the group stage with thrashing victories over the Old Ticcians and Kelaniya University and a major setback with a lackluster defensive effort in a loss against the Jawatte Lions, Old Moratuwa defeated the Barracudas in the semifinal in a nail-biting encounter.

Old Moratuwa was trailing for most of the game, with the score reading 15-7 in favor of the Barracudas early on. A goal later on by Old Moratuwa cut the deficit to one point, and was subsequently followed by another goal scored in the very last minute putting them in front 21-15 at the long whistle.

Clearly the last minute try in the semifinals was the highlight of the tournament for us” told Pieris, who attributed the success of the team in the tournament to their effort in the semifinals. “It was a gutsy effort in the semifinals, and after we pulled through that one, there was just no looking back”.

-By Faheem Jalaldeen

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 October 2011 18:40 )
Bolgoda Regatta: a pioneering effort in the history of rowing in Sri Lanka-Part 2
Written by Editor    Monday, 29 August 2011 15:18    PDF Print Email
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The transportation of fragile rowing boats from the Colombo Rowing Club premises to the University of Moratuwa boat yard was done extremely carefully. The boats were initially housed at the University boat yard and were then rowed to the Ranmal Holiday Resort premises just before the commencement of the Regatta. With the help of the late Dr Ray Wijewardene, the date of the inaugural Bolgoda Regatta was communicated to the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club (CMYC) and the latter agreed to re-schedule it's sailing races to avoid clashing with the race schedule of the rowing competition taking place on the same lake.

Changing the mindset of the rowing community at that time was another challenge that the Rowing Team of 2003 had to overcome. Everyone except the Moratuwa University had been rowing exclusively on the Beira Lake and nowhere else. The organizing committee was able to convince five rowing teams to take part in the inaugural Bolgoda Scull Regatta. Some of the leading scullers in Sri Lanka at that time also sent in their entries to be a part of this pioneering event.

It was decided unanimously that the Chief Guest for the inaugural Bolgoda Scull Regatta should be the Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa at that time. The late Dr Ray Wijewardene was a pillar of strength throughout and gave advice to the team on innumerable issues. If not for the late Dr Ray Wijewardene's guidance and vision, the Bolgoda Regatta would have still been a dream.

The day of the Regatta dawned but there were a few hiccups that the organizing committee didn't anticipate. Early in the morning, it was noted that some of the bouys and parts of ropes that were used for marking lanes were knifed and stolen by fishermen overnight. The organizing committee of the Regatta re-did the marking of lanes again with the extra bouys and rope that were purchased in case of any emergency.

Furthermore after the first few races, water hyacinth ("japan jabara") flowing through the Bolgoda Lake waded onto the course and 


made it very difficult to conduct the races. The Moratuwa University Rowing Team sprang into action again. With the help of a motor boat from the Ranmal Holiday Resort and wearing safety life vests, the team jumped into the Bolgoda Lake near the problem areas and began clearing the water hyacinth with bamboo sticks. Most of the team members remained in the water until all races were completed to ensure that the Regatta ended smoothly.

Although competitors from Moratuwa University didn't fare that well in the races, possibly due to the fatigue after the water hyacinth debacle, the 2003 Bolgoda Scull Regatta was a huge success. That in itself was a remarkable victory for the Rowing Team of Moratuwa University. The teams that participated at the Regatta commended the organizing committee for a job well done.

After 2003, the Bolgoda Scull Regatta grew from strength to strength. More and more competitors entered the competition and the popularity of the event among the public began to increase. The Regatta of 2005 was held on the second course with the race finish at the Thotupola Resort. This course remains the best among the two courses, as the finish of a race can be clearly viewed side-on from land; just like at the Colombo Rowing Club. It must be noted that an ingenious floating pier made out of empty barrels was used at the 2005 event.

The Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka (ARASL) was highly impressed by the successful hosting of the Bolgoda Regatta by Moratuwa University for three consecutive years (2003, 2004, 2005); that it was decided that the rowing events of the 2007 South Asia Games (formerly known as SAF Games) will be held on Bolgoda Lake. This marked the first time an International rowing competition of any kind was to be held in Sri Lanka. Subsequently the Rowing Nationals were also shifted from Beira Lake to Bolgoda. All of these new developments were possible because the Rowing Team of Moratuwa University was able to successfully demonstrate the hosting of rowing races on a straight 2 km course with multiple lanes on Bolgoda Lake.

After 2007, larger types of rowing boats - pairs, double sculls and fours - began racing at the Regatta and consequently the name changed from Bolgoda Scull Regatta to Bolgoda Regatta to reflect the addition of new boats. Due to the large volume of competitors and the different types of boats, the Regatta had to be held on multiple days.

With the continued success of the Bolgoda Regatta, it is indeed encouraging to note that several regional institutions from the surrounding area have stepped into the sport of rowing using Bolgoda Lake as their base. Prince of Wales College Moratuwa and General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University are a couple of such entrants to the Sri Lankan rowing community. It is hoped that rowing ventures out into other parts of Sri Lanka as well, making the sport of rowing a truly national sport.

-By Nishal Samarasekera

Nishal is an advisor of MoraSpirit and was the University of Moratuwa Rowing Captain of 2005. He was also a member of the Organizing Committees of the first two Bolgoda Regattas in 2003 and 2004. He headed the Organizing Committee of the third Bolgoda Regatta in 2005.





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Last Updated ( Monday, 29 August 2011 15:39 )
Bolgoda Regatta: a pioneering effort in the history of rowing in Sri Lanka-Part 1
Written by Editor    Sunday, 28 August 2011 13:55    PDF Print Email
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"The beginning is the most important part of the work." - Plato

"The distance is nothing; it's only the first step that is difficult." - Marquise du Deffand

Seated from left to right: Prof Dayantha Wijesekera (Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa), the late Dr Ray Wijewardene (Chancellor, University of Moratuwa), Mrs Jayaweera (Director, Physical Education, University of Moratuwa) and Mr Ajith Gunawardena (Coach, S. Thomas’ College & University of Moratuwa)








Students of Moratuwa University have been enjoying the sport of rowing on the picturesque waters of Bolgoda Lake ever since the first rowing boats were donated to the University in the 1980's. Having a vast body of clear, calm water running right next to the Katubedda campus has proved to be an ideal setting for the enthusiastic students to row leisurely for many hours.

Carefully maneuvering a fragile rowing boat through a small opening in a prawn fence or crab trap ("isso kotuwa" or "ja kotuwa") is a skill that can be mastered when venturing out from the Moratuwa University boat yard. Although it was a nuisance, there was no way of getting the fishermen to remove these fences; as the fishermen had a right to earn their living as well. Thus it was important that a cordial relationship was maintained between the Rowing Team and the Bolgoda fishermen. Encountering occasional sea-like waves and navigating through seasonal water hyacinth ("japan jabara") were also part & parcel of the Bolgoda rowing experience.

Since the inception of rowing at Moratuwa University, crews from the University have been participating in rowing competitions at the prestigious Colombo Rowing Club premises bordering the Beira Lake. One of the main events in the University rowing calendar is the highly competitive Inter University Regatta between the Universities of Colombo and Moratuwa held annually on the Beira Lake. The University of Moratuwa have also been taking part in the Rowing Nationals and various other regattas held on the Beira Lake.

The small area of Beira Lake limited rowing competitions to just 1 km straight, dual-lane events - which was a far cry from the international standard of 2 km, multi-lane competitions. Having participated in rowing events at Beira Lake year after year, the rowing fraternity of Moratuwa University in 2002 - lead by the inspirational Harsha De Silva - began discussing the possibility of having a rowing competition on the vast expanse of water adjoining the Katubedda campus.

Having a rowing competition anywhere other than the Beira Lake was unheard of at that time and by holding a rowing event of any type on Bolgoda Lake would be the initial step of popularizing the sport outside Colombo city limits - which until then was confined to the Colombo elite. Selflessly sharing the magnificent experience of rowing on Bolgoda Lake and conducting the rowing competition at an international standard were the other objectives of the preliminary plan. Thus began the thought process of conducting a fully fledged Regatta on Bolgoda Lake.

The late Vidya Jyothi Dr Ray Wijewardene, who was the then Chancellor of Moratuwa University also had a keen interest in popularizing the sport of rowing at Bolgoda. The late Dr Ray Wijewardene, who had rowed at Beira Lake and at Kandy Lake many years ago, was also a distinguished member of the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club (CMYC) - a sailing club bordering Bolgoda Lake.

Detailed maps of the Bolgoda Lake were studied to find the best 2 km straight stretch with the maximum possible width throughout. Two stretches were identified: one with the race finish at the Panadura end and the other with the race finish at the Piliyandala end. The first stretch had only a single viewing point and that was the Ranmal Holiday Resort located at the southern end of the lake. The second stretch had two viewing points, one end at the Thotupola Resort and the other mid-way at the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club (CMYC). Initially hosting the rowing competition at the CMYC premises was suggested by the late Dr Ray Wijewardene as some of the necessary infrastructure was already in place at CMYC. Also discussed was the idea of having a floating pier to launch rowing boats as the water level on Bolgoda Lake fluctuated periodically. However the CMYC idea was later shelved after the initial feasibility study as viewing a rowing race from CMYC did not provide a good view from either end - start or finish.

It was decided by the Rowing Team to conduct the inaugural Bolgoda Scull Regatta a few months before the Inter University Regatta of 2003. The captain of the 2003 Rowing Team was Amila Wagarachchi and the other key members of the organizing committee included D. C. Jayasundera and Heminda Jayaweera. Ranmal Holiday Resort was selected as the venue for the inaugural Regatta at Bolgoda and it was decided to race single scull boats on two lanes. Thus the event became known as the Bolgoda Scull Regatta.

By 2003 - except for Moratuwa University - rowing on the Beira Lake were established crews from the Colombo Rowing Club, Royal College Colombo, S. Thomas' College Mt Lavinia, University of Colombo, Ladies College, Musaeus College, St. Joseph's College, Ananda College and the armed forces.

The then coach of the S. Thomas' College Rowing Team and the Moratuwa University Rowing Team, Mr Ajith Gunawardena agreed to lend boats owned by S. Thomas' College to the Regatta. Mr Hiran Doranegama, then coach of the Royal College Rowing Team also agreed to lend Royal College boats to the Regatta. The late Dr Ray Wijewardene helped to arrange the transport of the boats through one of his long list of contacts. Prof Priyantha Wijayathunga, then Chairman of the Sports Advisory Committee of the University of Moratuwa also helped the organizing committee in many ways. The alumni of the Moratuwa University Rowing Team assisted by finding sponsors, giving generous donations and contributing with other acts of kindness which went a long way in organizing such an event for the first time.

Although initially thought otherwise, setting up straight lanes on a 2 km stretch was not an easy task. Through team members from the Civil Engineering department, a Geographical Positioning System (GPS) receiver was borrowed to help in locating the exact coordinates for the 2 km course. Weights were tied to rigifoam buoys which were dropped between constant distances of the course to mark the lanes whilst the GPS unit was again used to align the buoys in a straight line. 


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Last Updated ( Monday, 29 August 2011 15:39 )
The silent performer …..!
Written by Editor    Wednesday, 20 July 2011 17:46    PDF Print Email
(4 votes)



Moratuwamay not be a name we come across in the battles our brave ancestors fought in the history, but it is a name always appears when it comes to battles of the two minds, in the battle field of 64 squares!

From the time chess was first introduced into inter-university games in 1991, UoM has always been a force to reckon. The journey they started as the champions in the inaugural games was followed by many other golden moments!

In a very impressive list of successes which include so many triumphs at inter-university games, what standstall is their scintillating display at the finals of the All Island Inte rclub Chess Championship in year 1996. UoM chess team winning this title in that year was quite an eye opener for other sports as well. It gave everyone the belief that University sportsmen and women can, not just compete at the highest level in Sri Lankan sports, but conquer it as well! Three players of that team [seated; Wijesundara, Akila, Kanumale] had the great honor of representing Sri Lanka in the national team as well.

If you go through the past records of Inter University Chess Championships, some may wonder whether the home ground advantage has any say in a chess tournament as well. It may not, but the clean sheet UoM men’s chess team maintain so far at the inter university games held in Motaruwa may still raise a doubt on that in one’s mind! This record almost came to an end in year 2000 where the team had to face the challenge without the original captain who had to fly abroad for his industrial training. In spite of a minor hick-up on the way, at the end UoM managed to pull it off once again to make sure the home ground dominance is continued!

When it comes to chess in UoM, for good fifteen years it was all about the men’s team where the women’s team had to quite content with third place or a place below that. But the picture changed dramatically in the last three years with the women’s team winning the title in 2008 as well as 2010. By doing so they have become the first side in the university to taste gold twice in women’s sports! This year they will step into the battle field not just as the defending champions, but also as the clear favorites with two national players also in their ranks!

Chess in UoM has always been a silent performer! The men’s team being the winner or the runner-up all the time never makes a big fuss about it. Now with women’s team living up to their true potential, chess is becoming the main force of UoM’s quest to be the overall champions in interuniversity games. This year they have a golden opportunity of rewriting the record books by winning both men and women titles in the same year! To wish both teams all the best in this mission, not just the past chess players of UoM, but all the other sportsmen and women of UoM will also join me for sure!

May the flag of UoM keeps flying very high….!!!

-By Arjuna Jayadarshana

(Old Mora Chess captain)

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 July 2011 18:08 )
Diary of a captain
Written by Editor    Saturday, 09 July 2011 11:46    PDF Print Email
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Diary of a captain…Written by Surani Bandara

Based on personnel records of an inspirational captain of Mora Women’s Hockey Team 2002.


04th November 2002

SLUSA has postponed matches again, now for 7th & 8Th December. Nadee told they have exams in that week. Exams for Engineering students means, most of our team wont be able to participate. Now what to do? Can’t we can make a request to change dates, may be to postpone till end of December? Must check tomorrow. Anyway practiced well today, no rain.

05th November 2002

Talked to madam, she said we’ll (as Uni of Mora) make a request to SLUSA. Hopefully they’ll accept it seems. Feel better. Subhash ayya couldn’t come today, but practices went well coz 12 girls came. Girls prefer to stop practices for now as they can study leisurely. But we decided to wait till we get confirmation.

07th November 2002

Sports Council has sent a request letter. Hope it’ll work. No practices today. Tomorrow might be the last day for this session.


08th November 2002

Don’t feel like stop practices, we are going well, attendance is good. But can’t pressure girls unnecessarily. We decided to stop practices till December 2nd week.


19th November 2002

Life is getting boring. Lectures, submissions. Nothing exciting.Good to have a site visit next week.

29th November 2002

Went passing Colombo ground in the evening. Saw boy’s team doing practices. Seems they haven’t stop practices. Too bad we have exams.

02nd December 2002


a shock early morning! Apparently SLUSA has decided to go on with hockey matches on same dates, 7th & 8Th December. Madam called me early morning, we have to decide whether to participate or not. How can we not participate, we practiced so much, so hard. Talked with Su and Ino. We counted, only 7 of us can play for sure. We need at least 11.

03rd December 2002

Couldn’t even sleep last night. Got a headache from morning. Feel like saying ‘yes’, for any sake. But isn’t it stupid to go with 7 players? Su called while I’m in the bus. As soon as I went to uni we met at ‘gula’. We counted aging, ONLY 7! 3 archi people(me, su, minushi), 2 NDT(ino, manuri) and 2 Engineering (sujee akka and pradee akka –luckily they are in final year). Everyone else has exams. Ino has her final paper on 7th,means even she wont be there for 1st day.

Suddenly Su said, ‘papers "Eka digata thiyenne naane???...mada dawas wala papers nattam eka dawasak hari gahanna puluwan wei..Nadi ehema ei sure ekata..Apita 4k hitiyoth athine"

Yes! We’ll be able to manage that way! We decided to participate. Told madam to continue. Talked to other 5, told what we are going to do. Pradee akka took responsibility to walk around the faculty and check with everyone about dates.

I know it’s a challenge. Huge one. But feel bit relaxed and happy. We have a hope. I’m sure girls will be happy to play at least one game. Oh shit! Have to finish my submission for tomorrow!!


04th December 2002

Busy day. Finished my presentation around 11.30. Wasted one more hour at studio, coz couldn’t go out till everyone finished.

Pradee akka has talked to everyone, there is possibility as we expected, but no one has confirmed. They want little more time to think it seems. Most of them like to play, but some scared about getting injured etc, some have second thoughts coz tournament is at Pera, means they have to travel back n forth. Fair enough…

Seem this is little difficult than I thought. Anyway lets see, we have one more day.

05th December 2002

Couldn’t go to Basnayaka Sir’s lecture. Spent whole morning talking to girls. But couldn’t get very good responses. Seems we have to have a backup plan. Decided to ask few other people (may be some people who’s doing other sports). Talked to Sajani (girl in junior batch, plays badminton), she seems ok (may be she couldn’t refuse after seeing our situation) But again problem, she has fresher’s night on 7th. But if we don’t get anyone else by tomorrow morning, have to take her. Madam said there should be some other team coming back from Pera on 7th, so should be able to send her back to Colombo with them. Pradee akki said she’ll ask 2 of her friends, one doing elle and one netball.

I should take my stuff when I’m going to uni in the morning. Should pack now.


06th December 2002

From the morning tried to convince girls, hoping at least one will join us. It didn’t work though. We left to Pera around 1 o’clock in uni bus, knowing that 10 players will play each match. 2 were suppose to come directly, so there were only 8 of us in the bus. It was very strange…

We were first to arrive, so we managed to get the same place in Pera gymnasium. Met Colombo team and it was bad to see the surprise in their faces when they realize we only have 8. And apparently one of the players of Ruhuna team has told ‘ Moratuwe ayata exam..Koheda yana kattiyak ekkan awith.. ‘ , though this is somewhat true, I feel bit uncomfortable. We had dinner and came to bed. Tomorrow is a big day, hope Manuri and Swarnamalee will be here on time.

Feel bit nervous, hope I’ll get a sleep soon.


07th December 2002

Day started early, we went to the ground around 7.15. As last years champions we have to play the first match of the tournament, with Ruhuna. I was relived to see Manuri and Swarnamalee by then. After the technical meeting our match started at 8.40.


Match 01 – Vs University of Ruhuna

We were lucky enough to win the toss, got the ball. We just had a simple plan as we have limited resources. Swarnamalee will cover the backline alone, so, Su can play bit in front, with Sujee akka and Pradee akka covering 2 sides. I was suppose to play centre half (more considering the attack) expecting to feed and join the attack when ever possible, Manuri was closer to D circle, so we can feed the ball to her, and she can take shots to the goal soon.

Our plan worked, Manuri scored a goal in the mid of 1st half. And I managed to convert a short corner to a goal. But I wasted so many corners. Though we attacked we couldn’t score in the 2nd half, and we won our 1st match as 2-0.

Throughout the 2nd half I got scolded from Su, according to her I was tiring myself unnecessarily, and I was supposed to save my energy for next matches. Actually it helped a lot in second match as I needed lot of strength.


Match 02 – Vs University of Rajarata

Though we had only 2 matches for the day, according to the schedule we had to play the 2nd match after just 1 hour rest. Match started at 11.15 am. Rajarata team was really good, and the match was lot harder than 1st match. And it was under the hot sun just at noon. However before 1st half ends sujee akki scored a goal making us thrilled. And we made sure not to give a goal in the second half, ensuring our win.

We became champions of group B, have to play semis with Colombo (group A runner-up) tomorrow.

Our cheering squad left after lunch, and Sajani went with them so she have enough time to attend ‘Archi Night’. We were expecting Ino’s arrival to fill the vacant position. She has finished her final paper around 4.30pm, and left Colombo. Me and Su bought dinner to the team and went to Galaha Junction (with Subhash ayya) and waited for Ino. Finally at 9.40 pm Ino got down from a Kandy bus, giving us lot more confidence for tough semi tomorrow. We went back to gym, had dinner and went to sleep soon. (Had a little hope, that Nadee and Dharmanie might decide to come in the last moment even.)


Unlikely last night, I feel sleepy today, may be I’m too tired or may be I feel bit happy and have hope after winning two matches.

08th December 2002

We went early to the ground, had a little chat, making our spirit high.

Semi Final- Vs University of Colombo

As expected, match was really tough. We kept attacking as we discussed, but somewhere middle of the 1st half Colombo team managed to score a goal making us feeling bit down. We knew they are going to protect the goal some how, and might delay too as they are leading.

However, half time gave us more energy and spirit. We decided to attack much as possible, since that’s the only way we can get a chance to moving to final. From the whistle we kept attacking. Once when I looked back there was only Swarnamalee at the back. Su was always on right side of me between 25yards line and D circle. Manuri and Ino were inside D circle. They were shouting to others asking to mark us. (Later only we realized how much we have attacked and how panicked they were). Our effort worked, Manuri scored a goal! They didn’t expect it, and they couldn’t believe it. It was 1-1, and only about 10 minutes to go.

Su directly went down -back to her position, shouting to me ‘Madi Pressure eka adu karanna epa..attack karanna .api defence eka bala gannam..’. We knew what exactly we have to do. Match was draw.

Next… single series penalty strokes. As usual Su took the shot. But unfortunately their goal keeper- Madhushani (my teammate for yeaars) stopped it. (She is our teammate for years). ‘Madushani mage stroke eka dannawa, oya danna..’ Su wanted me to take next shot. I agreed, without even realizing this is the first time in my life I’m taking single series stroke. As expected, Minushi saved their stroke. And I went in, even before I nod my head umpires whistled. I just had a look at the goal (surprisingly I didn’t see madhusahni there), and pushed the ball. Yes! I made it!! And Minushi did her job perfectly this time too. We made it! We qualified for the final!

(Best coincidence, all 5 participated for strokes – Me, Su and Minushi for us, Iresha and Madhushani for them, played together for school team, but we played against each other today).

I feel really relieved, what we wanted is to go in to final. And now we have made it.


Final- Vs University of Peradeniya

This is the last match of the tournament, and last match I play for MORA, and most probably last of my life.

Match started around 1.30 pm. As usual we were short of 1 player. And they had really good team with 2 national players, including ‘Chooti’ (Shyama) – one of the best forwards we knew from school days, who is well capable of playing her game even alone. Still we didn’t give them anything easily. Actually we played even better than I expected. Just after 15 minutes of play Swarnamalee got hit by ‘chooti’.  Though it was foul we had to take Swarnamalee off the ground with her broken nose. And it was a great loss for us. Pera scored 3 goals in first half. And in second half 2 more. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t attack, we did and got several short corners, but again we couldn’t convert those. (I was to be blamed mainly for this). Match ended giving the victory for Pera.


2002 Inter University tournament ended;

Champions – University of Peradeniya

Runnerup – University of Moratuwa

3rd Place – University of Rajarata


There were more in story, even by end of closing ceremony, Swarnamalee was still bleeding. Though she refused, Priyantha Madam, Su and myself took her to Peradeniya Hospital. We had to admit her. Calling her mother, explaining the situation was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Within 45 minutes Aunty came. She was bit calmed after seeing that Swarnamali is ok. She asked us to leave, as we were suppose to leave back to Colombo. It was really hard to leave them there, but we didn’t have a choice. Others were waiting at Pera gym for us. If Swarnamalee’s home was not a Kandy, or if it was some one else, I still don’t know what we could’ve done that night. When we are coming out only we realized that we are still in playing kits- it was funny to be in short skirts, stockings, shoes, with mud and sweat. (Just wondered why people had strange faces when 2 of us were running in hospital corridors several times)

Went back to gym, had a quick shower and tea, and we left back to Colombo. Manuri and Ino has left by that time, so there were only 7 in the bus.

This is end of another tournament. Yet this is just different from any tournament I’ve played.  Our team is different in numbers, skills even on practices. Still we managed to pull off something good, which sometimes even a far better team would not have done. Special word must be noted, on the way my team (7 original players) played. Each and everyone understood our situation and how much they have to do. And they did almost perfectly. I’m really proud to be the captain of such team. And… I don’t know how to thank other 3 – who joined us when we were really short of people. Thanks so much for understanding and the courage you gave us, and of course you made our opponents scared too. [ It was funny at one point, Colombo players were shouting ‘mark number 8, mark number 8’ asking to mark Jayanthi akka – who was holding a hockey stick for 1st time in her life. ]


I’m almost certain this is to be last tournament of my life. And I’m just glad, I don’t want to change anything – well may be except for result of final.


Three cheers to MORA! Hip! Hip! Hurrah!!!


MORA Women’s Hockey Team 2002

Madhavie Gunawardhena (Captain)

Sujeewa De Silva

Pradeepa gurusinghe

Inoka Basnayaka

Manuri Wickramasinghe

Swarnamalee Dissanayake

Minushi Polhena

Surani Bandara

Sajani Wanniarachchi

H.W Jayanthi

U.L Preethika

Subhash Edirisinghe (Coach and former captain of MORA)


Thanks to all actions, we don’t have a group photo of this lovely team.

[ Editor's Note : Surani Bandara was a former captain of University of Moratuwa Hockey women team and now she is playing for the Mercantile Hockey team]




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Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 July 2011 14:17 )
Down the memory line…
Written by Editor    Wednesday, 15 June 2011 07:47    PDF Print Email
(4 votes)

It was year 2001, and for the first time I was going to represent University of Moratuwa, and participate in SLUG (Sri Lanka University Games). With the lovely captaincy of Sujeewa De Silva, we – Mora Women’s Hockey Team, kept practicing well for the tournament. But unfortunately tournament was postponed several times and finally it was scheduled for 27th & 28th December. As it was the end of academic year, our last practice sessions were heavily interrupted with examinations for Engineering students. However having faith on us, we took off to Peradeniya on 26th morning.    

We were in the ‘Group B’ with University of Colombo and University of Sri Jayawardenapura, while other three Universities -  Rajarata, Ruhuna and Peradeniya was in ‘Group A’. Our first group match with Colombo was supposed to start at 12.00 noon, but it was delayed and finally commenced at 1.45 p.m. Both teams played fairly well but during the 1st half neither team could score a single goal. Almost at the beginning of 2nd half, Madhavie Gunawardena scored a goal making us in high spirits. However it was not good enough, Colombo girls managed to score one and equalize. Our attackers put pressure immediately, by a push from Madhavie’s stick, ball again landed in their goal, giving us the lead again.  Score remained 2-1 at the end giving us first win of the tournament.

Since morning matches got delayed we had to play our second match at 4.00 p.m. with just one hour break, vs. Ja’pura. As we were not in a situation of taking lunch, we just had milk packets (and of course heaps of glucose) before entering the court. It was not easy to play 2 matches within few hours as it was really hot and dehydrating, also without proper meal. However, repeating the same experience, first half ended in nil-all-draw. We played a better game in 2nd half, and managed to score 2 goals before end of the game, by Madhavie and Nadeeka Thilakarathne, both goals from penalty corners. With this win we became group champions and was qualified for the semi final with ‘Group A’ runner up- Ruhuna which was scheduled for next day morning. Though we were really tired by that time, we had enough strength to support our men’s team for their group match against Pera. After all, we wanted to finish that hectic day early as possible, we quickly had a meal (not lunch neither dinner) and directly went to the Akbar Hostel, which we felt like a heaven at that time.

27th December was an important day for us, as that was the final day of our tireless commitment for 8-9 months and we wanted to make it fruitful. By 8 o’clock we went to the ground as our mach was scheduled for 9.00 a.m. But again it got delayed and we got in to the ground at 10.00a.m.

Ruhuna team was not the best team in the means of skills, but they played really hard and ambitious game, especially as it was the semi. However, 1st half ended 1-0 with Mora leading the game. We scored 2 more in the 2nd half, and won the game by 3-0. Though we were advanced for the final, we all knew we played a poor game, and if we continue in this manner result of the final match would be really pathetic. We spent next few hours discussing our mistakes, do’s and don’ts, coz we knew the final game with Pera is going to be very, very tough. And we wanted to make sure keep each and everyone’s spirit – The Mora Spirit - high.

Exactly at 4 o’clock, the final battle begun. Cheering for Pera was enormous. It must be somewhat similar to playing world cup final at India. Each and every inch around the court was covered by Pera students. I’m sure at least 80% of them would be clueless about hockey, still… it was so noisy, ‘Pera! Pera!! Coming from everywhere. Frankly I started to feel nervous too, which was bit unusual for me. But it was so nice to hear ‘Play Hard Mora! You can do it Mora! MORA! MORA!!MORA!!!’, from one corner. Our men’s team and Ja’pura girls team did a really great job, sandwiched between such a huge Pera crowd against them.

We played a good game from the beginning. They seem to be bit worried about us. We got so many penalty corners, unfortunately we couldn’t convert any to a goal. We kept attacking and it prevented them attacking to our goal. But at a some point one Pera attacker went to the goal while there was only our goalkeeper was left, still Minushi Polhena- our keeper sent her back. No matter how much we attacked, we couldn’t succeed, match ended in a nil-all draw.

Next few minutes were anxious… we knew we could’ve done better, we could’ve won, it could’ve been over by then, but… at this point we had to depend on ‘single series strokes’. I personally believed a team needs both skill and luck to succeed this challenge.  Team – including me - wanted Madhavie to put the stroke for us. She was shown her capabilities and commitment really well last year, and everyone believed she could make it. But Madhavie - my friend and team mate for 7 years at school- wanted me to take the stroke. True, I have taken lot of similar chances before and succeeded as well, still… this was different. Knowing my friend very well and with the whole team trusting her, I really knew she can do this, and I still can remember her words ‘ ug jvd iqr◊j ug Iqjr® ‘ … We had to put the stroke first. I didn’t have second thoughts. I only knew I was just at the stroke point, and next split second it was a goal!… For them Amila Kapilarathna – again one of Pushpadana girls we knew from the school days – took the stroke, and she couldn’t succeed as the ball banged on the post. That was it! That was the end!

Mora was the women’s hockey champions of 7th Sri Lanka University Games.  
And up to now, it was the 1st and only time Mora women’s hockey team won the championship!! And more … that was the 1st time Mora got any women’s championship apart from Rowing.  (I’m not quite sure about that record at present)


Standing from Left to right: Mr. Subhash Edirisinghe (Our dearest coach/former mora captain), Varangana Badalawa, Pradeepa Gurusinghe(vice captain), Sujeewi Senarathne, Nadeeka Thilakarathne, Angla Aseni, Dharmanie Gamage, Irangani Herath, Mrs. Priyantha Weerasinghe (Incharge, physical education/ ‘Madam’)

Seated from Left to right: Nilupa Herath, Minushi Polhena, Inoka Basnayake, Madhavie Gunawardhena, Surani Bandara, Sujeewa De Silva (captain)

I’m writing and enjoying these precious memories of MORA HOCKEY, while Inter University Hockey tournament 2011 is just few days ahead. Last year we had to satisfy with two ‘3rd places’. Dear sisters… it has been exactly 10 years… Brothers… we gave away the Championship we had for several consecutive years…
It’s time to bring back the honour!
Bring back both championships to MORA HOCKEY!!!

-By Surani Bandara

Writer was a former captain of Mora Hockey [women] team and currently involve with Mora Hockey Alumni for the development of the game.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:30 )
After 28 years in 2003
Written by Editor    Wednesday, 07 October 2009 10:29    PDF Print Email
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written by Suresh Cooray

(source: http://www.elect.mrt.ac.lk/SuccessUoMTennis.htm)

The University of Moratuwa (UoM) Tennis Team created history when they beat the University of Colombo (UoC) at the Inter-University Tennis Tournament 2003 finals on the 28th September 2003 at the UoM tennis courts, to emerge Inter University Tennis champions for the Robert Jayasuriya challenge trophy and end the 28 year long winning streak of UoC.

The UoM team led by Suresh Cooray and guided by their coach Mr.Ricardo De Fonseka did well to convincingly defeat the UoC team which included Chamara Wijesinghe a former national player, with a match score of 3-1.

The UoM team who had been continuously becoming the runners up for a long time were knocked out in the quarter finals of the Inter-University Tennis Tournament 2001 by the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. This was due to some team members forfeiting from the matches at the last minute. This triggered the need for a change in the culture of the tennis team. In addition, some of the best players in the team graduated from the University, and the Captain for year 2002, Dilanka Jaysundara, was left with a handful of players.

Dilanka and his vice captain, Suresh Cooary put their heads together and decided that they will build up a strong team to gain the title which had eluded them. It was clear that aiming to become champions with a team of beginners was impossible since the UoC, the defending champions, consisted of a former national player and some other very experienced players who had earned a name for themselves at school level. Even becoming the runners up would need a tremendous amount of effort. They went ahead with the plans and a new culture of long hours of result oriented practice was introduced. This created interest among the university students and attracted some students who had played at school level but didn't find time to play tennis at the university. Amidst this was a stroke of luck - two players who had played seriously at school level entered the university and a former player who had been out of the country for training came back. They too were impressed by the way the team was practicing, and immediately started coming for practices.

With these new players added to strengthen the team, a team meeting was held to re-establish goals. The whole team unanimously took up the challenge of practicing to beat UoC to become the inter-university tennis champs. After 4 months of planned preparation, the tournament started and UoC and UoM were selected for the final. Unfortunately, just after the UoM had completed their semi final tie, the UoM team, who had already played 3 ties that day, were forced by UoC organizer to play the final on the same day against UoC who had played only one tie that day.The final was officially scheduled to be played one week later. Since they were forced, and threatened that if they do not play a walk-over will be given to the UoC, the UoM agreed to start the tie. It turned upto be a very tight tie with the score 2-2 after 4 matches and the tie ended with the UoC winning the 5th match which went to a 3rd set and with that the championship.

The UoM team members that evening itself made a strong pledge that they would win next time and there won't be any loop holes next time. With that Dilanka handed over the reigns to his vice captain, Suresh.

The UoM took an early start in 2003 and started practice under the new captaincy of Suresh and the vice-captaincy of Priyanjith Perera in mid January, approximately 8 months before the matches. They put their heads together to figure out what went wrong last year besides the injustice that the hosts did. The most evident shortcoming they identified was the absence of a coach. They decided that they needed a coach of highest level for at least the last 3 to 4 months to make sure that all technical flaws are corrected. On that day itself they made the decision that they will try to convince Mr.Ricardo De Fonseka who lives in close proximity to the UoM, to coach and guide them through.

The next problem they were faced with was the means of funding a high quality coaching program like this. The university could provide only a very limited amount of funds for coaching and it was not at all feasible to collect the money from the players who are all university students. It was inevitable that they had to organize a major fund raising program.

After considering many ideas they decided to organize a tennis tournament. It was named as the Academic Masters' Tennis Championship 2003. This was a tournament for the students of all higher education institutions of the country. It was a unique tournament as it brought students from all the government universities and private higher education institutes together. This offered some kind of competitive tennis for many of those who have given up tennis after years of playing for their schools, because of higher studies.

The tournament was held on the 9th and 10th August 2003. The tournament was a success despite the fact that many Universities did not turn up for the matches after having confirmed their participation. Many UoM players themselves performed well in this tournament. Above all the necessary funds were raised, thanks to many private sector companies, some heads of departments of the University and many of the past tennis players of UoM. Once the matches and the proceedings of the prize giving was over the team members, who had put in a lot of effort with many sleepless nights to ensure that this was a success, had a celebration with dinner. In everyone's mind the thought was that things were going just as planned this season.

But no one knew about the calamity that was next to strike that night. After dinner, with the clock striking midnight, the biggest ordeal hit the team and it's members. At around 12 midnight that day the car in which the captain, vice-captain and another player were travelling met with an accident. Vice captain Priyangith was critically injured and was immediately hospitalized. All the team members were traumatized. Priyangith had to go through many operations. Everybody's focus was on Priyangith and how serious his injury was. Fortunately Priyangith was released from the hospital after 5 days, but needed almost a month to recuperate. It was confirmed that he will have no permanent injuries. But it was very doubtful as to whether he would be able to play in the tournament. In everyone's mind there was a doubt as to what should be done next. UoM had a very remote chance in playing one of their more fancied players.

Here the coach Ricardo came to the rescue. He assembled the whole team together and motivated them and lifted the morale of everybody. He explained to everybody that what happened has happened there's nothing we can do to reverse it but that we have to get on with the thing that we have to do. This made the whole team motivated further and they were more determined to win. Amidst all this there was a minor staff strike at all the universities and nobody was there to prepare the courts. The team took it on their hands and did the maintaining of the courts daily and practiced daily.

When the day for the matches became close, it was certain that there was no chance of playing Priyangith, who was one of UoM's best players, in the team. This was indeed a big blow to the team but it wasn't big enough to bring down the spirit and the morale of the team.

Both teams, UoC and UoM, reached the finals without any difficulties - UoC defeating Universities of Sri J'pura and Sabaragamuwa, while UoM had it easy over Universities of Kelaniya, Sri J'pura and Sabaragamuwa.

The D-day arrived on 28th September 2003 at the University of Moratuwa Tennis Courts. The final started with the first single between former national player Chamara Wijesinghe from UoC and Dilanka Jayasundara from UoM. This resulted in a 6/2, 6/0 UoC victory. It was the second single between second seed Thilina Jayaratne from UoC and Lahiru Dharmasiri from UoM that turned the tide in favour of UoM. Lahiru stole the show by defeating Thilina 6/4, 3/6, 6/1 in a hard fought game.

The third singles featured the top seed Roshan Peries from UoM who was in complete domination over Dileepa Banagala from UoC. Roshan won in straight sets with a score 6/0, 6/1. Roshan continued his dominance combining with his skipper Suresh to win the first double 6/3, 5/7, 6/4 against Chamara and Isuru to secure the championship without even playing the last match.

The result - University of Moratuwa Inter University Tennis Champs 2003 !


The Team that created history

Top Row : Dilanka Jayasundara, Roshan Peiris , Ricardo De Fonseka (Coach), Suresh Cooray (Captain), Lahiru Dharmasiri
Bottom Row : Isuru Ponnaperuma, Dushan Piyaratne, W.U. Erandaka, Himantha Cooray, Sujith Perera, Ranil Roshan, Rajive Nagodawithana.
Absentee : Priyangith Perera (Vice Captain)


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 October 2009 05:02 )
Rowing - The Bolgoda Era
Written by Editor    Friday, 02 October 2009 10:32    PDF Print Email
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written by Heminda Jayaweera

The 2009 Bolgoda Regatta concluded in a grand fashion on the 5th July 2009 giving a resounding triumph to the University of Moratuwa Rowing Team, more fondly known as ‘Mora’ Rowing Team. It was a fitting climax for the proud Mora Rowing Team as they bagged the most coveted Dr. Ray Wijewardena Trophy for the Championship in Senior Men’s Category.  The Senior Women’s Category was won by Ladies College, Colombo.

Echoing the words of President of the Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka (ARASL), Mr. Rohan Fernando, who grazed the occasion for the awards ceremony, the sport rowing has been centralized to Colombo for more than a century. This sport was seldom moved out of the capital although Sri Lanka has a wealth of natural water resources to conduct this type of sporting events all around the country.

Whether it is Minneriya in Polonnaruwa, Nuwara Wewa in Kandy, Thissamaharamaya or Iranamadu Wewa in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka boasts of unlimited resources for such sporting activities. Some years ago a group of young undergraduates identified the value of such resources and underwent a daring experiment to host the sport of rowing outside Colombo. They chose Bolgoda Lake which is the largest water body closest to Colombo that has the capacity to hold a 2000m rowing events as per international standards. The Mora Rowing Team has been rowing at this venue since the early 80’s and it has been the nurturing grounds for undergraduate oarsmen and women for number of years. But not until recently, the full potential of the untapped waters of Bolgoda was realized by the members of the Mora Rowing Team themselves. Dr Ray Wijewardena, the then Chancellor of the university was instrumental in bringing up this idea into reality and supporting the team in numerous ways throughout this endeavor. Dr. Wijewardena himself being one of the best oarsmen ever produced by Sri Lanka will be fondly remembered by all oarsmen and women as the father of rowing in Bolgoda.

After much deliberation, the first ever Bolgoda Regatta was held in 2003 as a small scale competition, nonetheless a landmark event in the history of rowing in Sri Lanka. Year after year the scope grew and after 6 years it has become one of the most colorful and important events in the National Rowing calendar.

The first Bolgoda Regatta was only a single scull regatta as the organizers had severe difficulties in finding the required boats and transporting them to the venue. It is noteworthy to remember the support extended by Prof. Priyantha Wijayathunga, then Chairman of Sports Advisory Committee of the University of Moratuwa and Mr. Ajith Gunawardena and Mr. Hiran Doranegama the respective coaches of S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia and Royal College, Colombo for providing the infrastructure facilities and much needed boats for the competition. It was held in the premises of Ranmal Holiday Resort with the participation of 5 teams. It was a massive success as this was the first time the 2000m race took course for competitive rowing in Sri Lanka. Although organizers had done their initial homework to conduct multi-lane rowing, this event was restricted to two lanes due to the lack of boats.  The first Bolgoda Regatta was a memorable experience for the organizers as they had to face challenges they had never come across before. Memorably, the organizers had to plunge into the waters to clear the course from invading water plants, which were floating towards the racing boats.

The second Bolgoda Regatta was held in 2004 at the same venue and multiple lane 2000m racing was conducted for the first time in Sri Lanka. Six categories of events were held with the participation of 8 teams. The Mora Rowing Team had mastered the technique of laying lanes on the water for that distance by that time.

The third Bolgoda Regatta was held in 2005, where the first ever four lane racing was seen in Sri Lanka. The event was moved to ‘Thotupola’ and 10 teams took part in the competition which saw a vast improvement in the spectator turn out as well. Soon after this regatta, Bolgoda was chosen as the venue for the rowing events of South Asian Games 2007 (SAG 2007). This was a dream come true for the oarsmen and women of Mora Rowing Team as ARASL, the national rowing body identified the importance of this place to promote water sports in Sri Lanka. The Mora Rowing Team was the technical facilitator for the event as they had the expertise on conducting such events in the past. The first ever international rowing competition in Sri Lanka was held with the participation of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The fourth Bolgoda Regatta was held in 2007 at Thotupola with the participation of 11 teams, which signified the involvement of almost all the entities in Sri Lanka. Pair events were introduced for the first time and 8 different race categories were held with immense success.

The fifth Bolgoda Regatta was brought back to Ranmal Holiday Resort in 2008 and this time it was held with an even better participation of oarsmen, women and spectators. There were 150 entries and 80 participants from 11 teams. The double scull events were introduced for the first time during this competition. In addition to their excellent organization capability, Mora Rowing Team showed their rowing prowess as well during this event. The exceptional level coaching of Mr. Maheel Gamage and Mr. Mark Maurice was a towering strength for them to achieve this double success. The event was a significant milestone as it marked the establishment of Bolgoda Lake Rowing Club based in Ranmal Holiday Resort under the patronage of Mr. Sithira Wickramasekera who has been an able supporter for Mora Rowing Team to hold this major event successfully.

As mentioned at the start, the sixth Bolgoda Regatta concluded with a record number of participants with an almost 100% improvement from the last year. There were 61 races held under 22 different categories with the participation of 13 teams.

The Bolgoda Lake is such a picturesque venue away from the hustle and bustle of the city so it brought much joy for the sportsmen as well as spectators who came to visit this event. It was very pleasing to see lots of spectators enjoying the nature and engaging in many activities like boat rides during the two days in which the competition took place.

The Bolgoda course was identified as the venue for the 2009 Rowing Nationals and it is a fitting compliment to all the hard work put in by the oarsmen and women of University of Moratuwa all these years. In the backdrop of this renaissance of water sports based in Bolgoda it is important to highlight the efforts by the small, yet enterprising group of young men and women for their unstinted hard work to popularize the sport of rowing all over Sri Lanka.

The Mora Rowing Team has created a new paradigm by organizing an event of this magnitude successfully with the local community and they have created an excellent precedence to all on how to move forward together as a nation.














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Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 October 2009 05:16 )