In 2013 The Sri Lanka China Friendship Association in collaboration with Zhongshan People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries granted a swimming scholarship to a very talented swimmer from D.S. Senanayake College, Imesh Chathuranga who embarked on a six months training programme in Zhongshan Sports School in Zhongshan ,Guangdong Province of People’s Republic of China. This fine gesture was initiated by the Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association (SLCFA) along with Zhongshan People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries who are jointly promoting trade, cultural, and sport activities between Zhongshan and Sri Lanka.
This swimming prodigy who at this young age has the distinction of being selected for the national swimming training squad for the South Asian Games to be held in 2013 and to date established many age group swimming records as well as becoming age group swimming champion in many occasions.
He has exceptional talent in the backstroke and the butterfly stroke having been performing with tremendous success since taking up swimming at the age of seven. This talented swimmer has all the potential in becoming a prospective candidate for the next Olympic Games to be held in 2016.
His list of titles before embarking on the training to China included, 2007 novices aquatic champion, national age group champion, Sri Lanka schools swimming champion, 2009 Sri Lanka schools swimming champion, national age group champion, pentathlon champion, 2010 annual 2 mile sea swim – under 14 best performance, 2011 annual 2 mile sea swim – under 14 best performance, national age group champion, pentathlon champion, Sri Lanka schools swimming champion, junior national champion – short and long course, 2012 Sri Lanka schools swimming champion, national schools swimming champion, 2013 Sri Lanka schools swimming champion and pentathlon champion.
After returning from China in January Imesh Chturanga won the following events.
Pentathlon under 17 Champion, National Short Course Swimming Championship (Open) 2nd Place in 50M Back Stroke,3rd Place in 100m Butterfly stroke. National Sports Festival 1st Place in 50m Back Stroke,2st Place in 100m Backstroke, 2nd Place in 100m Butterfly stroke.
This Scholarship Program was initiated by the Sri Lanka – China Friendship Association. Imesh Chaturanga underwent training in Zhongshan with Ishara Methsadun Abeyrathne of Royal College, Colombo 07
During Imesh Chaturanga stay in Zhongshan ; Mr Joe Zhang Deputy Director of Zhongshan Foreign Affairs Bureau and Ms.Vivian Huang of (ZFAB) paid special attention to make their stay comfortable and looked in to all his needs. Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Guangzhou Ms Yasoja Gunasekera assistance is note worthy to mention.
Special mention has to be made about the untiring efforts made MrKapilaPradeep Prefect of Games and swimming master In-charge in 2013 who spear headed this project from the start.