2019 is a remarkable and significant year in University sports arena. SLUG XIII, the 13th Sri Lankan University Games festival, which will be held in University of Ruhuna in August 2019, would write a new chapter in the University sports history. Fourteen universities are competing against each other in twenty-two events to grab the championship and to be crowned as champions. In SLUG XII, which was held in 2016, University of Sri Jayewardenepura was crowned as the champions. In counting days, the time has come to raise the voices about the preparation for the SLUG. The president of the sports council of University of Sri Jayewardenepura Madubhashana Supun Bandara gave his views about their preparation and story of SLUG.
If you give a brief introductory note about yourself?
Of course. I am Madubhashana Supun Bandara by name. I am a fourth-year student and an undergraduate in the course of Sports Science and Management at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. I just started my second semester in my current academic year.
How did your school and your family directed and supported you towards this stage in sports?
The foundation for the sports was laid by my school St. Sylvester College, Kandy where I got my education. From my childhood my top preference was sports. Then I must remind my mother, father, and my brothers. I’m here today thanks to the immense guidance, support and the advice given by them. I’m really proud to pay my humble gratitude towards them for everything they have done for me.
Are there any special reasons to select sports as your profession in life?
There are not many reasons. Really, sports is everything in every aspect of my life. I have deep love and respect for sports. That’s the only reason for selecting sports as my profession.
Are there any memorial days or events in your University sports career along the path from then to now?
There are many unforgettable days in my sports life wrapped with victories and defeats. Among all the victories, I think that the individual medal that I won in 2016 SLUG is the most remarkable step in my life. It is the first medal which I won after getting to university so that moment was very special to me.
Please tell us about the SLUG history of University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Of course. Inter-university games started in 1950. Those days different universities focused on different fields in sports. As an example, University of Sri Jayewardenepura focused on athletics. But SLUG is different from that. All the National Universities are beating over one another for one championship. We had a remarkable SLUG experience in 2016. We became the champions and we are so proud of it. We are trying our best to secure and defend that title and continue being the champions in the future too.
SLUG is a significant event in the University sports arena. How about your preparation for the upcoming event?
Fourteen Universities are competing against one another on sports arena for one championship. SLUG is considered as the Mini Olympics in the University culture which comes over three years. We are so proud that we won the SLUG 2016 championship. Our main intention is to seize power and protect what we have won. Practice sessions are already being started and all are practicing with their maximum effort. The objective of all of us is victory. All are going towards the same goal. We have worked so far, and we will work in upcoming days with much dedication, determination, and sacrifices towards the glory of our University. I must remind and be thankful to the sports council of the University and the sportsman and sportswomen of the University. They are the true owners of these victories.
Team spirit is highly emphasized in SLUG. What is your opinion about the rhythm in team events and individual events?
University of Sri Jayewardenepura has become the owner of multiple championships. Team spirit is the inspiration of the games. This is common to team games and track and field events. If we take a relay event, all the four members must give their best. Even though other team members perform very well, the team cannot hope to win if one athlete cannot perform well and keep up with the others. The victory depends on the talents of all the four members. In team games like Basketball, all the members must be with the same capacity. If not, the championship will slip through our hands. So, the team spirit is the energy of the victories.
You are the owners of the SLUG 2016 Championship. Do you think that there will be a challenge for your championship reign by other Universities?
Of course, there will be. All the universities are trying their best to seize the championship just like us. All the teams are working to beat others with their talents. So, every other university sports team is a challenge for us. We will gladly accept that challenge and we plan to face it successfully.
MoraSpirit team plans to give a wide media coverage for the SLUG in August. This is the first step of its coverage. What is your opinion?
All fourteen state universities have their own sports media units. According to my opinion, MoraSpirit have done a brilliant job by giving quick updates during these years. Even photographs are updated and uploaded as quickly as possible, within few minutes after getting captures. This coverage is very important because the external society thinks that the University is only about academics and the pickets. But university sports festivals, specially SLUG, endow the national and international level players to the country. The coverage of MoraSpirit provides a great contribution in introducing and unveiling these talents to the whole country.
Last but not least, what is your message as a player to the readers?
Victory and the defeat are common in sports. But all must work towards victory, not towards defeat. You must give your hundred percent no matter what happens. Even if you are defeated, still giving your best try is better than not using your full capabilities.
MoraSpirit wishes all the very best for Madubhashana and J’Pura team for upcoming SLUG and we would like to wish them Goodluck for their ambition in securing their title and becoming champions once again.