'Bolgoda Regatta 2007'
River Bolgoda comes alive...:
"Rowing is a sport for dreamers. As long as you put in the work, you
can own the dream. When the work stops, the dream disappears." This is a
famous rowing quote made by Jim Dietz, Rowing Coach of the United States
Coast Guard Academy.
When the student population of the University of Moratuwa is
concerned, it is a group which is constantly toiling hard to cope up
with a huge workload, yet making it a point to realize their dreams,
through their inborn talent. Rowing is one of the most preferred sports
within the youth population of the University, which has exposed them to
a totally new paradigm of life.
August 28, 2007 became one of the most fondly remembered days of the
rowing history of the University of Moratuwa. On this day, the rowing
team kept another step forward in organizing the spectacular 'Bolgoda
Regatta 2007', another endeavour of the annual rowing competition.
The 'Bolgoda Regatta' series, which kicked off in 2003, was enhanced
each year with new events being introduced, and this year's event held
at the 'Thotupola' hotel premises, was not at all an exception. Bolgoda
Regatta 2007 became an event which incorporated pair races apart from
only sculls, which was the practice so far.
A smooth stretch of the Bolgoda River was chosen as the proving
grounds for the many oarsmen and oarswomen who took part in the event.
The stretch was divided in to four lanes, and it was all about rowing,
under eight categories, for the eleven teams which took part,
representing almost all the institutions which engage in rowing in the
It was interesting to see the involvement of rowing teams from
schools such as Royal College Colombo, S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia,
Musaeus College, Ladies College and Asian International School in the
event, and astonishingly, yet beyond doubt it was the Royal College and
the Musaeus College Rowing teams who bagged the awards for the overall
men's championship and women's championship respectively. The event
indeed was a lovely spectacle.
With all the excitement at the 'Bolgoda Regatta 2007', it is worth
mentioning the inception of this wonderful event.
The oarsmen of the University of Moratuwa who have always been
energetic on the waters, had made a dazzling victory in 2002 at the
Inter University Regatta, and at this point, the Chancellor of the
University, the well known Dr. Ray Wijewardena has come up with a novel
suggestion of starting a regatta on the Bolgoda river, which flows just
past the University.
From that little thought, the Bolgoda Regatta was fired up with the
major objectives of using the natural setting of the river to hold a
rowing event conforming to international standards, while brewing up
some excitement about the sport, rowing outside Colombo as well.
The first endeavour itself, made history by having a 2000m course for
the first time in Sri Lanka, and to date this remains the undisputed
event with the only 2000m international standard course.
Key personalities such as Dr. Ray Wijewardena, Prof. Dayantha
Wijesekara, the Vice Chancellor at that time, Prof. Priyantha Wijethunga,
the president of the Sports Advisory Board and Mr. Ajith Gunawardena,
the University rowing coach at that time, along with the Amateur Rowing
Association of Sri Lanka has given a great backing to the 'Mora Rowing
Team' led by Amila Wagaarachchi, to kick off this legendary 'Bolgoda
The second 'Bolgoda Regatta' held in 2004 was yet another success,
which was done in a three lane course making it the first instance in
Sri Lanka that a three lane course was used in a regatta. Just as
possessing the pride of the 2000m course, from this event onwards the
Bolgoda Regatta also became the annual rowing event being organised in a
The trend was carried on for the event in 2005, and another lane was
added, taking the event in to a four-lane approach. Each year the
categories of events and the participation have risen and it has turned
out to be one of the most thrilling annual rowing events of the island.
Furthermore, it must be noted that the University of Moratuwa rowing
crew made a great contribution to the 2006 SAF games as the technical
facilitator for the first ever international rowing event in Sri Lanka,
with the participation of four countries.
The Captain Pradeep Dalpadadu and the team are ever grateful for Dr.
Ray Wijewardena who is always prepared to give any assistance possible.
Furthermore, Dr. Saman Samarawikrama, the President of the Sports
Advisory Board of UoM and Mr. K. D. R. C. Rathnamudali, Director of the
Department of Physical Education have given an immense support to make
the 'Bolgoda Regatta 2007' a stunning success.
The support by Major Vijitha Welikala, Chairman of Wild Holidays who
helped by giving the chance to use hotel 'Thotupola' as the venue is
much admired by the team. Mr. Hiran Doranegama, Coach of the Royal
College rowing team, Mr. Lasantha Welikala of the Colombo Rowing Club,
past oarsmen of University of Moratuwa, and specially Coach Mahil Gamage
who has always been the strength and the motivator of the team, have
done quite a lot for the event to draw to a close triumphantly.
The captain of the rowing team is also grateful for the contribution
given by the Royal College Colombo, S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia,
Musaeus College, Ladies College and Sri Lanka Air Force by lending their
Bernard Edmonds has stated, "To dream anything you want to dream,
that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to
do, that is the strength of the human will.
To trust yourself to test your limit, that is courage to succeed."
Likewise, the rowing team of the University of Moratuwa will always
dream the most creative dreams, and most importantly will strive to
explore new vistas and make them turn out feasible.
The 'Bolgoda Regatta' is already a distinctive event in its sense,
and the rowing team is waiting anxiously to do the next addition to the
event to make it even more astounding.