National Pole Vault sensation Ruwan Pradeep Perera outlined the importance of sports to schoolchildren in their growth as future contributors to the nation at an event held at the Sussex College Network recently. “Participating in a sport is beneficial in producing a wholesome human being as sports does not merely aid the physical aspect of the individual, but enhances the mind, while building resilience, discipline, encouraging team effort, manifesting healthy competition and much more,” stated Ruwan Pradeep Perera, the National Pole Vault champion who has a wealth of accomplishments to his credit, including gold medals won at the Singapore Open, Malaysian Open, Indonesian Open, Philippines Open and at the South Asian Games. Perera is also the holder of the South Asian Games pole vault record.
At present, he is the Deputy Director Sports at the Sussex College Network, granting all students an opportunity to appreciate the value of sports while gaining knowledge about its overall benefits. Sussex College Network comprises of 20 Colleges spread across Sri Lanka. “As a sportsman who has dedicated more than three decades towards a particular discipline, I am keenly aware of the value placed on sports at the Sussex Colle g e Network. In this prestigious institution, we believe in broadening a child’s knowledge to the point in which he/ she is aware of the advantages of sports whilst choosing an event or discipline which evokes a passion.
Moreover, at the Sussex College Network, students are guaranteed of receiving an all- inclusive education in which sports play a vital role,” he added. The eleven major systems in the body benefit from sports and regular exercise, subsequently the brain functionalities gain a clearer perspective and a stronger ability to retain knowledge. In this technological era children tend to revert towards a more sedentary lifestyle; preferring virtual games which makes them susceptible to diseases but the students at Sussex are encouraged to lead a more health conscious, balanced life which ensures health and vitality.
It is statistically proven that the involvement in a sport increases the chances of securing a job as it covers a vast spectrum of characteristics such as commitment, healthy competitiveness, goal oriented mentality, loyalty, integrity and more, which is a prerequisite for succeeding in his/her career and the students are ingrained with from inception as sports is part of the culture of the school. What differentiates the Sussex College Network’s sports oriented programme is the awareness created in a student , each student has a comprehensive knowledge about the reason for choosing a sport, its influence on his/ her life, avoiding harmful stimulants such as steroids to enhance the performance and the most important task of striking a balance in all areas.
This out-of-the-box approach to sports training has bridged the gap between theory and practical forms of learning and enabled students to enjoy their love for sports without feeling guilty, while securing good results in their examinations. Throughout the history of Sussex College Network, it has produced numerous internationally recognised sportsmen and women. The group which is led by the renowned exponent of education , K. A. S u n i l Jayatissa, Founder and Chairman of Sussex College Network believes in granting the best opportunities in education and sports and other extra- curricular activitiesto each student, stating that , “We at the Sussex College Network explore every path which enables our students to succeed in and walk into any arena life has in store for them through the all-encompassing platform provided by us, with sports being one of them. Sussex instills the child with the ability to tap every potential capability as they grow into adulthood and create an impact in the world.”