Peiris the Lankan hope in swimming

Mr. Col. C.S. Fernando Secretary (1980 - 1983)

Col C.S. Fernando is one of the finest sportsman produced by Sri Lanka He had his primary and secondary education at Dharmaraja College Kandy. In 1953 he entered the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. He read a General Degree in Arts and graduated in 1956. At Dharmaraja College he represented the school at soccer. It was at the University that he blossomed to be a versatile sportsman.

He was an inmate of Marrs Hall. The freshers’ rag at Marrs Hall was that all freshers had to run every morning for one week from Marrs Hall via the Gymnasium and along the Mahaweli and round Sangamittha Hall and back to Marrs Hall along the Galaha Road. Of course when they pass the Sangamittha Hall the runners get buckets of water on them. On all seven days C.S came back first to the Hall. When the freshmen’s meet was announced Marrs Hall entered C.S for the three long distance events, the 800m, 1500m and the 5000m.

The second Inter Hall Athletic Meet held C.S established two New University records in the 1500m and 5000m in 1953. When the University of Ceylon shifted its Arts Faculty to Peradeniya, Dual Meet between Colombo and Peradeniya commenced. At the second Colombo Peradeniya dual Athletic meet C.S. won the 1500m and the 5000m improving his university record in the 5000m.

The Inter Hall Athletic Meet held from the 15th to the 20th of August was significant for C.S. In the heats of the 1500m, he established a new university record and in the final, he improved on that mark by seven seconds and improved his 5000m record with a time of 16:22.8 secs. At the Ceylon National Championships, C.S. was placed second in the 5000m. He represented Ceylon in Athletics.

While in the University, he represented Ceylon at Soccer under the captaincy of Peter Ranasinghe another University stalwart. At the University he engaged himself in Athletics, Soccer, Rugby, Badminton and Table Tennis. After Graduation he joined the Armed services and served in the Armoured Corps and retired as a Lt. Colonel.

C.S. Fernando is the first person to represent Ceylon in all three sports and the first person to hold posts of Secretary AAA, FFSL, NOC Sri Lanka, and SLRFU.

Sadly, Col C.S. Fernando passed away after a prolonged illness in 2020 at his age of 89 years.