We are pleased to mention that Sakindu Dassanayake of Grade 11 from Trinity College has emerged “Best Player” at the Sri Lanka Schools Judo Championship, held in September 2019.
Judo, a growing sport
Judo evolved from the samurai martial art of Ju Jitsu, but has developed as a leading competitive sport. In fact, Judo is the second most popular sport in the world. It has always been an immensely popular sport, and was also included in the Olympics from 1968.
Sakindu was introduced to judo by his father Dr Rajeewa Dassanayake, a former national gold medallist, at quite a young age. He underwent formal training under veteran coach and former international player, Namal Rajasinghe, from 2016. He achieved early successes, winning two bronze medals in the under 55kg weight division in 2017. He was selected to the Sri Lanka schools team to Japan later that year, and won his brown belt and a National Schools Merit award at the event.
In 2018, Sakindu competed in the under 66kg category, and represented Sri Lanka at a junior championship in Poland, winning a fifth place. He also won Sri Lanka Schools Gold in this weight category. This year, he also recorded his first achievement in the open category, where the best players from all teams compete, irrespective of weight. This came in the form of a silver medal in central province schools.
Sakindu won two gold medals at the Sri Lanka schools judo championships in 2019. The first came in the above 73kg category. He overcame his opponents with ease, and beat Shenal Hapuarachchi of St. Peter’s College, Mount Lavinia in the finals. The open event was much tougher. Competitors included the winners of the two Sri Lanka Schools championships last year, and players with achievements at senior national level. Sakindu won all his bouts, and beat Daham Wipulaweera of Kingswood College in the finals. His win in the open event made him the Best Boys’ player. Judo bouts can be won on points at the end of time, or by “ippon”, or full point. This is comparable to a knockout in boxing. Sakindu won all his bouts in this competition with ippons.
All Island School Games 2019
Sakindu also became the best player (U20) at the all island schools games, organised by the Ministry of Education. The event took place from 11th to 14th October 2019. He is set to receive a monetary award and a special award at the conclusion ceremony of the games which will be held on 2nd November 2019 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
From the school on the hill
Sakindu has been a Trinitian from preschool, and comes from a family of Trinitians. His uncle is a Ryde Gold medallist. Not being dedicated to just one sport, he has also represented the school in badminton and chess.
Sakindu is very grateful to the school for the support and encouragement extended. Not only has he been permitted to represent the school in competitions, but his awards have been routinely presented at school assemblies, and he received a special award at the College prize giving, for representing Sri Lanka.
We thank Dr Rajeewa Dassanayake for providing us with the information and we also congratulate Sakindu and wish him best as he continues to achieve excellence at all his endeavours!