By : M.H.Yakeem
The Hockey Federation will conduct its AGM on 31 May, and the two candidates vying for the top post of President are SSP D.S.K. Pushpakumara and MP Rohana Dissanayake.
SSP Pushpakumara is a former first-class cricketer, who has also represented Police in Hockey. He has made several overseas tours with the Police team, and his greatest achievement was when he led Sri Lanka to win the Police Cricket World Cup in Worcestershire, England.
He has outlined his vision and mission to improve hockey to the media, and stressed: “I have no doubt Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Sports, will give his blessings and generous assistance to take this game to International level.”
The opposing candidate is MP Rohana Dissanayake, who is presently the President of the Matale District Hockey Association.
He is a hockey player who has represented Vijaya College under-17 and 19 teams, and subsequently played for Lanka Porcelain in 1982. He has also represented Grasshoppers in Division 1 Club tournaments.
As the President of the Matale District Hockey Association, he had the distinction of speaking to the Hockey Federation of Sri-Lanka , to conduct the 2006 South Asian Hockey tournament in Matale, which 4 teams participated, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka.
India emerged Champs with Pakistan as Runner up and Sri-Lanka overcame Bangladesh to clinch the Bronze.
He was also instrumental in organizing the Vijaya 7’s Hockey Tournament which attracted teams from Bangladesh, India and Malaysia.
He seeks the blessings of the Hon. President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Sports Minister to take this sport to the highest level in Asia.
Both candidates have a Vision and Mission in mind to improve the game and bring back the glory days of this sport, which was popular many years back. The best way to do this is to target youngsters from school level and set in place a well-structured plan for the development of hockey.