Volunteer Force of the Sri Lanka Army which has a proud history of over 134 years has been evolved to that of a force consisting of 99 battalions with valiant soldiers who are committed to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. While extending its prime duty, the present day Army athletes are poised to demonstrate their courage, skills and commitment in the field of sports which promote mutual respect, understanding and strong relations among athletes. It is a significant fact that, the young robust men and women in the Volunteer Force amply excel their performances at the sports arena and bring accolades to the motherland.
The sports history of the Volunteer Force also dates back to the period before Ceylon gained independence. During the period the Volunteer movement began in the country, the competitions had been held between companies which had later developed into competitions
between battalions with the expansion into the Volunteer Force. Sports had gradually gained recognition with the emerging sports personnel exhibiting skills at competitions.
The first outstanding sportsman emerged from the Ceylon Volunteer Force is recognized as Duncan White who won a silver medal in the 400m Hurdles at Olympic Games held in London England in 1948. Duncan White with his commitment had been able to bring great honour to the entire nation. He was a Captain in the Ceylon Volunteer Force and the representative of the Ceylon Volunteer Force at the Amateur Athletics Association in 1953 and 1954.
The Volunteer Force contribution at the international sports arena had also been amply demonstrated by a Volunteer Force member, a record holder and one of the most outstanding athletes of the era with international fame S L B Rosa in 5000m and 10000m long distance running events in 1972 at Olympic Games held in Munich Germany.
Lieutenant (Quarter Master) W B Bogahalanda of 2 Volunteer Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment had been recognized as an outstanding athlete who immensely contributed to the development of athletics of the Volunteer Force. He had excelled skills and performance with a record at 400m
and 800m running events becoming the champion at the Inter Battalion Athletics Championship in 1974. His performance paved him way to participate in international competitions. He represented Asian Games held in Seoul South Korea and the expertise he garnered at the event had been well utilized in training the Army athletes.
Susanthika Jayasinghe of 3rd Battalion the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps had left an indelible mark in the sports history of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force following her outstanding performance in 200 m race at Summer Olympics in 2000 held in Sydney Australia securing the bronze medal which had later been elevated to silver medal. The Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force had been greatly influential in achieving her success as sportswoman with her commitment, preparation and combination of dedicated training added to the inborn ability.
Warrant Officer 1 Nadeeka Lakmali of 2 Volunteer Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps who is an outstanding sportswoman gifted to the nation is also a proud product of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. She has been able to excel outstanding performance in javelin throw bringing
much honour to the organization and the country in general while participating in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Athletics Championship and Olympic Games.
Great performers of the Volunteer Force in the sports arena included Thamara Saman Deepika, I M Rohitha Pushpakumara, S B Walgampaya, R D U S Surendra, M H M G Darmarathne, Menaka Wickramasinghe, D A Inoka, Tharanga Vinodani, B G Padma Kumari, S V A Kusumawathi, Mangala Priyadarshana whose great performances are standout in the national and international showground.
In conclusion, the representation of the Volunteer Force has been distinct in the annals of the sports history where names of Captain Duncan White, S L B Rosa, Susanthika Jayasinghe and Nadeeka Lakmali are written atop. It is a fact that the Volunteer Force endeavour and
its perseverance in uplifting and maintaining its sports legacy added with dedication, training and interests of the sports personnel had paved way for securing victories at national and international level bringing much honour to the organization and the nation.
SRI LANKA ARMY VOLUNTEER FORCE ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIP RECORDS – MEN
SRI LANKA ARMY VOLUNTEER FORCE ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIP RECORDS – WOMEN