20th July 2019 10:06:26 Hours
One of the much-anticipated and prestigious projects of the Sri Lanka Army, ‘Colours Night - 2017/2018’ that recognizes and acclaims exceptional skills of Army sportsmen and women, glittered in the Nelum Pokuna auditorium Friday (19) evening in the presence of a gathering of distinguished invitees, including the Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports, Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army, Commander of the Navy, Commander of the Air Force and several other distinguished invitees.
A representative group of those Army sportsmen and women who excelled at formation, inter-regiment, regimental, defence services, national and international levels during the years 2017 & 2018, received laurels and were felicitated in the mammoth and colourful ceremony that included a variety of cultural feats of high standards. A selected crowd of 125 achievers who have earned Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, representing 41 fields of sports were awarded laurels during the event and the remainder is to be distributed later at regimental level ‘Colours Night’ events.
During the first leg of the awarding ceremony, Best Para Sportsman, Best Sportsman and Best Sportswoman in the years 2017 and 2018 were awarded laurels and cash awards to the value of Rs. 500,000/= each by the day’s Chief Guest, Hon. Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports, Harin Fernando and Defence Secretary, General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda after both of them were ushered by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake to the stage.
Lighting of the traditional oil lamp, observance of a two-minute silence in honour of fallen War Heroes, recital of the Army song, followed by eye-catching entertaining cultural and dancing feats, coloured the evening and added a flavour of magnificence and dignity. Major General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Staff delivered the welcome speech and extended greetings for gracing the occasion.
A newly-composed song dedicated to the Army Sports was also played on the occasion, together with a video documentary that screened the history of Army sports and its achievements right throughout.
During the ceremony four veteran sportsmen were awarded laurels and cash awards to the value of Rs. 200,000/= each by the Defence Secretary. At the same occasion, Sergeant J.A.C Lakmal of Commando Regiment and Lance Corporal M.W.T Samanmali of Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps were awarded as the Best Sportsman 2017 and the Best Sportswoman 2017 respectively while Sergeant H.M.D.P Herath of Gajaba Regiment was awarded Colours as the Best Para Sportsman in Para Sports events, both at home and abroad.
Similarly, Sergeant M.V.I.R.S Bandara of Sri Lanka Engineers, the Best Sportsman 2018 and Lance Corporal K.M.P.K Liyanage of Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps, the Best Sportswoman 2018 were awarded while Lance Corporal W. Amila Prashan of Sri Lanka Light Infantry as the Best Para Sportsman was also awarded Colours appreciating their multiple skills in Para Sports events, both at home and abroad.
The ceremony awarded Colours to those excelled in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Billiard & Snooker, Carom, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Elle, Gymnastics, Netball, Para Games, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabbadi, Karate, Motor Sports, Weight-Lifting, Power-Lifting and Body Building, Rowing, Shooting, Soccer, Squash, Swimming & Water Polo, Parachuting, Rugby Football, Tennis, Table Tennis, Tae-kwondo, Wrestling, Wushu and Volleyball.
Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports, Hon Harin Fernando and Defence Secretary, General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda, former Commander of the Army, General (Retd) C.S Weerasooriya, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Chief of Staff, Major General Shavendra Silva, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage also joined in to award Colours to the achievers. The vote of thanks was raised by Director General Sports Major General Anura Sudasinghe as curtains fell down.
Senior Officers, Sports Ministry officials, Officers and spouses, retired Senior Officers, relatives of laureates, sportsmen/women and a large gathering of distinguished invitees witnessed the event.