Aloma Dias – 70th Birthday – Photos thanks to Trevine Rodrigo
Aged to perfection. Aloma Dias 70 and looking fabulous!
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at a Labor Party gathering in support of MP Julian Hill at the Walawwa in Noble Park ahead of the forthcoming General elections in Australia.
Mouth watering Crab lunch at Cha’s Cabin in Hallam. A must do event for an afternoon of great cuisine and entertainment.
Gerard Livera’s fabulous surprise 60th birthday bash at the Walawwa. Effervescent entertainer Arnie ensured it was a fantastic night. Photos by Trevine Rodrigo
‘Everesting’ for the 1st time in Sri Lanka and Asia
FROM TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
The human pursuit for pushing the boundaries of endurance sometimes has no logical end or explanation as enthusiasts conjure up various means of testing how far they can stretch their bodies and mental capability to achieve what no other can.
This is how the new craze enveloping the world can be described with the advent of ‘Everesting’, born in Melbourne, Australia in 1994 by famous explorer George Mallory, whose other exploits included climbing Mount Everest, and now generating thousands of enthusiasts worldwide.
Never before staged in Asia, this is a gigantic step taken by the organizers and sponsors of the event which will, apart from the competition, showcase Sri Lanka and its wonderous natural beauty to the rest of the world.
The setting for the ride is the picturesque and chilly climes of Radella, in Nuwara Eliya area, world renown for the origins of the best Tea.
So far over 20 entries have been received for the event said Ron Meerweald at a media briefing in Melbourne. The competitors will challenge themselves to achieve tough physical and mental aspects that make the desired 8848 vertical meters within 24 hours.
Principal sponsor Manjula Kulathunga who will support the event from Melbourne said he was proud to be involved in the challenge which will draw unprecedented crowds. The proceeds from the event will be channeled to nominated charities.
A press communique released in Melbourne says,
“Cycling enthusiasts get the unique opportunity to participate in reaching their zenith through ‘Everesting’ and this year the event is being held in the paradise isle of Sri Lanka. The tropical island situated in Southern Asia is renowned for its mesmeric landscape and vibrant culture with the event taking place amid the cool climes of the central hills from 6-7 April at the Radella Hill Climb in Nuwara Eliya”.
“We are pleased to announce an event of gigantic proportion in the cycling world and proud to partner with the Sri Lankan based www.goceilao.com (a reputed travel company which specializes in inbound and out bound travel, offering clients a wide variety of options from leisure, business, sports and other forms of travel). It is also our pleasure to enable the cycling fraternity an opportunity to test their endurance levels, as we foray into Asia for the first time,” remarked Andy Van Bergen, Founder of the prestigious concept which has taken the cycling arena by storm and into an unknown territory.
Manjula Kulathunga, Director of Australian Migration Consultants www.amconline.com.au , the Principal Sponsor of the event stated that “it is an honour to be part of this pioneering effort which enables the cyclist of the world to test their endurance levels and aim for success in the most anticipated event catered exclusively for them.”
Sharing his perspective, the CEO of Thomas Peer Solution www.thomaspeer.com.au , Udara Dharmadasa mentioned, “It is a great privilege to be the Digital Partner of such a prestigious event, which involves a worldwide participation of cyclists who ride for a purpose and aspire to reach the highest goals pertaining to their sport.”
“We at www.ceilaoezy.com are eager to introduce ‘Everesting’ to the Asian continent by partnering at this much anticipated event which has reached dizzying heights in Australia and Europe since its inception. This event in itself is the best opportunity for Asia to witness the dynamic task of reaching the highest altitude in the world through cycling,” added Chamaka Manjula – Director of Ceilào Ezy, Remittance Partner of the event.
“ The event which is categorized under the banner of Sports Tourism, creates the added impetus to visit Sri Lanka, not merely to indulge in tropical pleasures but to watch the most epic event related to cycling unfold in paradise itself,” enthused Amila Gunawardana, GM of Go Ceilào (Pvt) www.goceilao.com .
Another highlight of this year’s event is its A-list of participants, which includes Sanjee De Silva, the first Sri Lankan/ Australian to complete the daunting task of ‘Everesting’ during a previous attempt. “I am thrilled to be part of this iconic event which will be held in my country of origin, making it a personal quest for myself and adding an immense sense of sentimental value,” enthused the cyclist/ philanthropist who will be donating Rs.3mn worth of medical equipment and operating as the emergency partner to the Nuwara Eliya hospital.
Participants are required to repeatedly ride a hill of their choice and ensure the successful completion of the task by reaching the equivalent to Mount Everest which is 8,848m. It is compulsory to complete the event within a period of twenty four hours without sleep. Winners will be awarded the coveted Hells 500 grey stripes, earned merely by 3174 cyclists globally and indicted into the Hall of Fame. The festive atmosphere will additionally provide the spectators as well to be entertained by numerous activities which have been planned by its sponsors.
The world class event which has taken precedence in the Australian and European continents is reaching out to the far corners of the earth, as it leaves its indelible mark in the largest continent of the world, Asia!
In addition to Ceilào Ezy as the Australian based partner, the principal sponsor is Australian Migration Consultants with the Sri Lanka based partners Go Ceilào, Tangerine Tours, Tourism Malaysia, Sunday Times, Lankadeepa ,Daily Mirror and Hi Magazine, Daily FT, Real FM, Kiss FM , Lanka Hospitals , Critical Care Health Solutions, Sri Lankan Airlines and , Thomas Peer Solution functioning as the digital partner.
A background to the origins of this new craze goes back to Australia, its place of invention.
If ‘everesting’ is about to sweep through weekend warrior cycling, it will be all the fault of the man who founded the idea and coined its name: George Mallory.
In 1994 Mallory – after several failed attempts – ‘everested’ Victoria’s Mount Donna Buang. This feat involved climbing the mountain by bike 10 times in a day. It’s taken 20 years to catch on, but word of Mallory’s feat has smouldered in amateur circles ever since.
If the name sounds familiar, you’re right. He is the grandson of the British mountaineer of the same name, who many believe was the first to successfully climb Mount Everest but who never made it back down to tell the story. Modern-day Mallory, 54, has also climbed the real Everest.
“My idea for everesting arose from a game rock climbers play,” Mallory says. “We would do multiple rock climbs in a day with the aim of gaining the equivalent height to El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. In 1989, with my climbing friend Kevin Smith, we climbed five routes on a 300-metre high cliff in 24 hours.”
In 1994, during training for a trek up Everest, Mallory “started dreaming up epic training projects”.
“I wondered how many times I could cycle up [Mount Donna Buang] in a day. Was it five, or six? Or, maybe I should aim for eight! By doing eight laps of the hill my vertical gain would be 8800 metres, approximately the altitude of Mt Everest. Would this be possible? Was there a world record for this brand of stupidity?”
Mallory slowly built ever-increasing numbers of repeat runs up Donna Buang. Then, one day in March 1994, he set out to clock “two laps more than the six I had managed previously”.
“[It] doesn’t sound like an outrageous increase, but I was destined to learn the hard way that the human body is not a machine. Marathon runners know that half of 42 is not 21, but 35.”
Every generation needs one. An ultimate, amateur, physical goal. A marathon, an ironman triathlon, a swim across the English Channel. Now comes “everesting”, the ultimate test of an amateur cyclist’s endurance.
Weekend cycling warriors: if you’ve not yet heard of “everesting”, get set to be astonished and inspired.
In February 34-year-old Melbourne woman Sarah Hammond became the first woman to everest a mountain by bike. She did it by riding her bike unassisted up Mount Buffalo in north-east Victoria not once but eight times in 18 hours, in the process notching 9031 vertical metres of climbing.
The magic number is 8848 meters, the elevation gain of Mount Everest. Her extra metres were to make certain of it. Forever after, in hard-core cycling circles, Hammond will now “own” Mount Buffalo.
That’s the criteria for ‘everesting’, you have to notch a minimum ascent of 8848 vertical metres, all in one continuous cycling effort. The mountain or hill or “elevation” is entirely open to your choice, though the shallower the hill you choose the longer (distance) and more time it will take – choose a hill too gentle and you’ll run out of time before needing to stop and/or sleep.
To claim your place in history, you also have to be the first cyclist known to have ‘everested’ that particular hill or mountain.
A slew of the 58 successful ‘everesting’ attempts made so far originate in Victoria, where the sport began. Just one successful attempt has been recorded to date in New South Wales – when Rohan Symons climbed Dead Horse Gap near Mount Thredbo in March – with four in the ACT and three in Queensland. ‘Everests’ have also been recorded in England, New Zealand, the US, Italy and Norway.
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Sri Lanka’s triumphant Test match euphoria has quickly dissipated into the previously familiar role of eating humble pie as the South Africans exacted revenge for their embarrassment in the Tests by grinding their opponents into the dust leading 3-0 in the one-dayers in a relentless display of ferocity.
Already, the series has moved into a dead rubber situation with two games remaining as the struggling Sri Lanka lineup find that their horses for courses squad does not match up to the heroes that dethroned the hosts in the two Test series a few weeks prior.
One- day skipper Lasith Malinga’s desperate move to publicly scorn his squad for their lack of respect at being given national selection and reminding them of the pride associated with donning the Sri Lanka cap appears to have added more fuel to the fire rather than douse it judging by the reaction in the third game. Factions within appear to suggest that a change at the head may yet bring out the best from this talented but currently dysfunctional team.
Port Elizabeth and Cape Town beckons in the next two encounters which will be of academic interest before the Lankans figure in three T20’s before departing the Southern Hemisphere with little comfort but plenty to dwell on for their efforts.
What has been clear in the whitewash is that the current squad lack the temperament and depth in their batting as they clearly squandered a chance of winning games they could have after the bowlers did a great job in containing the strong South African batting line- up.
Niroshan Dickwella has failed as an opener and should move down the order for better impact and experienced Upul Tharanga should be made to prove his worth in the squad by filling that role or consider his career over.
The Sri Lankan fielding which was exceptional in the Tests, was appalling to a point where fielding coach Steve Rixon was visibly wincing as if in pain at the morass of mistakes.
Everything fell apart in the rain hampered third match where they let the South Africans get away to a huge total thanks to sloppy fielding and erratic bowling mainly by proven specialists like Thisara Perera whose form or motives need questioning.
With the World Cup fast looming on the horizon Sri Lanka desperately need some wise heads and proper direction in a hurry if they are to avoid humiliation after their proud record in previous editions which included that historic victory in Lahore in 1996. They are winless in six encounters in 2019.
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Sri Lanka can celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly since their fantastic Test series win over South Africa after a dismal batting performance gave the home team a morale boosting effortless win in the first one-dayer in Johannesburg.
That Test success appears to be quickly fading into a distant memory unless the plucky Lankans can discover a winning combination to be competitive in the four games ahead.
The good was the discovery of a brilliant new talent in debutant Oshada Fernando who followed his Test series heroics with a masterly 49 before being unfortunately run out. His stroke play and cool , calm confidence overshadowed many of the more experienced campaigners in the squad as he deftly handled the South African attack smacking them to all parts in his entertaining knock. He is certainly a player to watch over the years.
The bad was the batting which recovered from the quick exits of Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga to irrational shot selection and then going on to 195 for 5 in 36.2 overs before they folded to a measly 231 in 47 overs which was almost unforgivable. Only three batsmen, Oshada Fernando (49), Kusal Mendis (60), and Dhananjaya de Silva (39), made score worth a mention as the others looked lost at sea on a track that seemed to have no terrors.
A score of 231 always suggested that the game would not go the distance as South African Skipper Faf du Plessis 112 off 114 balls and Quentin De Kok 81 off 72 balls raced to the target with more than 11 overs remaining
The ugly was the evidence of the spat between skipper Lasith Malinga and experienced Thisara Perera appeared not over and done with. Perera who is capable of turning a game on its head with his incredible talent appeared listless while batting with Malinga and the shot he offered to get out looked like fielding practice to David Miller at short cover. This, when the team urgently needed an injection of runs to lift them from a domino effect as wickets fell around him in quick succession.
The fact that they did not bat out their allotted overs is a disturbing statistic which needs to be addressed by the coaching staff. It appears to suggest that there is a lack of genuine all-rounders in the squad or the selection process needs some tampering.
As they move to Centurion for game two it is hoped that they will show the qualities Dimuth Karunaratne’s men displayed and take the series to a competitive level. They certainly don’t lack the talent to beat anyone if they are in the right mindset.
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Vishva Fernando and Kusal Janith Perera celebrate Sri Lanka’s first Test win in Durban.
Kusal Janith Perera celebrates one of Sri Lanka’s greatest wins.
Lasith Embuldeniya grabbes 5 for 66 in the first Test.
Dimuth Karunaratne skippers historic series win in South Africa.
Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis steers Sri Lanka to historic series win in Port Elizabeth
One Kusal spelt trouble for South Africa in the first Test but two Kusal’s spelt double trouble as Sri Lanka stunned the hosts and the rest of the cricketing world to pull off a sensational series victory in Port Elizabeth against all odds.
After Kusal Janith Perera led the heroics by snatching victory from the jaws of certain defeat in Kingsmead, Durban, Kusal Mendis and debutant Oshada Fernando made a mockery of what appeared to be a batsmen’s nightmare track in Port Elizabeth to effortlessly guide Sri Lanka to a historic 2-0 series triumph in front of a shocked South African following and followers worldwide who reflected on their dismal performances in New Zealand and Australia, then in wonderment at the miraculous form reversal.
All the doomsayers who condemned this team for lack of technique and temperament including yours truly, were left dumfounded as the brave lads from Lanka capably led by new skipper Dimuth Karunaratne displayed fight rather than fright to stage a commendable come from behind effort that sent them into the annals of history. Not only did they win the series, but they also recorded just their third win on the African continent while becoming the first Asian team to win a series there and the only the third team to beat the South Africans on home soil. Only two other teams, England and Australia have secured series wins in South Africa before.
Sri Lanka’s first win ever in South Africa was under Tillakaratne Dilshan in the 2011/2012 series in which current skipper Karunaratne was a member of the squad that went down1-2 to the hosts.
To summarize this series, it was a titanic tussle between the relatively unknown Sri Lankans fresh from a forgettable drubbing in Australia and New Zealand and the cocky hosts who are ranked number two in the World and appeared to take their opponents as a walk in the park prospect.
Although they refused to admit it, the approach proved to be a mindset they will regret for many years to come as they recall the pain and humiliation inflicted on them by the smarting Lankans seeking some form of redemption. There is no doubt that luck played a big part in Sri Lanka’s success as they pulled off a Houdini like escape in the first Test, then folded like a deck of cards in their first dig of the second Test before Kusal Mendis and youngster Oshada Fernando rode their luck and batted with arrogance and authority to make it a thrashing of the home team in the end.
Successful skipper Dimuth Karunaratne admitted after the game that they had made up their minds to do something special for the suffering fans who endured the torture of their substandard performances in Australia. “We learnt a lot from those defeats and were able to address our weakness against the rising ball. And it paid off in this series”, he said.
They showed flamboyance and scant respect for the feared South African attack led by Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada as they raced to the target with carefree abandon and finished proceedings well within three days
After Sri Lanka’s bowlers followed up their first Test effort to bowl South Africa out for a mere 222, it appeared like the Lankans euphoria after a shock first Test win had quickly evaporated as the home team struck back by bowling them out for 154. Newcomer Vishva Fernando and Rajitha grabbed three apiece and Dhananja De Silva got two to keep the lankan dream of a series win alive.
Down but not out, Sri Lanka struck back swiftly as Suranga Lakmal, 4 for 39 an Dhanjaya De Silva, 3 for 36 with Rajitha, 2 for 20 wrought havoc to skittle the home side for 128 raising hope for an upset if they were up to it needing 197 for a series sweep.
An analysis of the Sri Lankan turnaround appears to suggest that they needed fresh new direction and it came no sooner Chandimal was removed from his role as skipper and the selection role was relieved from coach Hathurusinghe leaving him to concentrate on the team’s performance instead. Hathurusinghe’s stint as Sri Lanka coach hung like the Sword of Damocles over his head if the islanders ended their Southern Hemisphere sojourn winless and without a competitive edge.
His future was rescued by the blooding of youngsters of whom Vishva Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya and Oshada Fernando who stood tall in their formative stints suggesting that there is plenty of talent from the cricket mad Island which only needs to be identified and harnessed.
Overall, Sri Lanka’s fielding has lifted somewhat under Australian great Steve Rixon and they functioned as a unit backing each other in an effort that appeared lacking on their previous tours.
Reports from Colombo also indicate that the new skipper’s stand on persisting with Lakmal and Kusal Mendis in the team for the second Test against some selection committee members who insisted on them being omitted proved to be the ultimate difference.
They have risen from the depths with this great effort and Sri Lankan fans are optimistic that the new direction and a new Sports Minister in Haren Fernando whose focus is on the development of the national team was the tonic they needed to turn things around.