In memory of a champion hockey player
Sandiya Ithagane Wijekoon Peiris
Sandiya humbly gave tribute to her school and coach who is her beloved uncle, Chandra Wijekoon, for investing in her hockey career
Chandra Wijekoon is a well-known national player, national coach, national selector and national umpire. Chandra’s two sons Asanga and Harsha Wijekoon still continue to represent the Sri Lanka National Hockey Team
Sandiya Ithagane Wijekoon Peiris is an unforgettable name in the history of women’s hockey in Sri Lanka.
Sandiya was born and raised in Matale. She first attended school at Good Shepherd Convent Kandy and secondly at Sri Sangamitta Girls’ National School, Matale (BMS) where she started to play hockey. Sandiya comes from a family of great national hockey players.
It is undoubtedly the reason for Sandiya’s interest in hockey at a very young age. She was also blessed to play hockey with her aunts Manel Wijekoon Wimalaratne and Sujatha Wijekoon Randiligama and her cousin Mallika Jayawardana Deegahawathura.
In 1974, she played hockey for BMS Matale as left-extreme, and took part in many tournaments, winning the school championship continuously for five years. During her time at BMS, they became the first school to participate in a floodlit match against Russia at Bernard Aluwihara Stadium in 1976. Sandiya made a noteworthy contribution in that victorious match.
Sandiya was appointed captain of the school hockey team in 1979. During that time she represented the school hockey team in international tournaments held in Singapore in 1977 and Malaysia in 1980. Sandiya’s remarkable skills in hockey led her to play for Sri Lanka’s Women’s Hockey Association. She was privileged to play for the Under-23 team under the Captaincy of Marline Machado and Jennifer Todd in 1977. She also represented Sri Lanka as the youngest player at that time under the captaincy of Zohara Jummar. Sandiya mentioned in her school yearbook that it was an exceptional tournament as it had the highest participation for the first time.
Sandiya humbly gave tribute to her school and coach who is her beloved uncle, Chandra Wijekoon, for investing in her hockey career. Chandra Wijekoon is a well-known national player, national coach, national selector and national umpire. Chandra’s two sons Asanga and Harsha Wijekoon still continue to represent the Sri Lanka National Hockey Team.
December 24, 2020, marks the 4th Death Anniversary of Sandiya (17 May 1958 – 24 December 2016), and her family below fondly remembers her as a champion yet another year.
Sandiya Ithagane Wijekoon Peiris will always remain in the hearts and thoughts of her beloved family: husband Elvin Peiris, daughters Rasanjali Peiris and Dayanjali Peiris Fernando, and son-in-law Dinuth Fernando. Her father the late Richard Wijekoon, mother Somalin Wijekoon, brothers Rohan and Mohan Wijekoon, sisters Sangitha Wijekoon and both Wijekoon and Peiris families.