Mr. Ranjith Weerasena – Vice Patron and former President of the St Peter’s OBU
Former national discus champion and top sports administrator Weerasena passes away-by Reemus Fernando
Former national discus throw champion and top sports administrator Ranjit Weerasena (79) passed away after a long illness on Tuesday. Weerasena reigned the throwing arena for more than a decade from late 60s after emerging as a formidable Public Schools athlete from St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya. He was the Public Schools Champion in 1959.
He took under his belt the national discus throw record (39.94 metres) in 1963 and it remained unbroken until H.G. Gunadasa improved on it in 1973.
Weerasena excelled during an era when Sri Lanka was starting to make a mark in the Asian region in athletics. At international level he had Indo-Ceylon and Singapore Open victories as his highest achievements.
After retiring from sports he took to sports administration. A former Ace Athletics Club stalwart, Weerasena became the president of Sri Lanka Athletics, formerly the Amateur Athletics Association of Sri Lanka in 1978. He is the youngest person ever to hold the President post of both Sri Lanka Athletics and the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka.
He was 37 when he was first elected as the president of Sri Lanka Athletics. He also served in the Council of the Asian Athletics Association. According to Olympian Sunil Gunawardena Weerasena was one of the few administrators to have spent from their own pockets for athletics.
He had to step down from the post of president when Sri Lanka failed to win medals at the Asian Games and in 1996 was selected to the same post uncontested.
Weerasena also held the president post of the Sri Lanka Veterans Athletics Association and was one time head of the National Selection Committee.
Weerasena strongly believed that Sri Lankan athletes needed foreign competition exposure to improve standards.
His contribution for sports was recognized at the Presidential Sports Awards three years ago when he was awarded the Life Time Achievement Award of Excellence.
He leaves behind his wife Asoka who was a national level netball player.