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Girls playing tennis at Hillwood attired in Kandyan saree

Hillwood Girls College, Kandy, is one of the prestigious girls’ schools in Sri Lanka. It is steeped in rich history and traditions. The school has stood the test of time to complete 126 years. This institute, which has produced many outstanding sportswomen, was founded in 1890 by Miss Elizabeth Bellerby.

When it comes to sport, tennis was the first discipline this academic institute took to. These lasses also took to netball, table tennis, badminton, chess, hockey, basketball, swimming and athletics and have won accolades at school, provincial and national level.
The present principal of the school Nelum de Alwis is a keen follower of sports. She is all out to do her best to promote all sports in the school. Alwis is not alone in this endeavour and has the support and enthusiasm of the members of the Past Pupils Association. This association is headed by Sirini Dunuwille.

At present, Hillwood Girls’ College is getting ready to celebrate 100 years of tennis at the school. Dunuwille has already made elaborate plans and the past pupils have promised help to redevelop the tennis court. There are plans to have an exhibition tournament. Her main idea is to encourage students to take part in sport in an attempt to nurture a child who will be able to accept victory or defeat.

Hillwood College, Kandy first played tennis in 1916. It has one of the best tennis courts among schools. These lasses also played netball. It is interesting to note that these games were played by these girls wearing the Lama Kandyan Saree. In 1947 the Saree-clad Hillwood netball team emerged as the Central Province champions in tennis.
Lawn Tennis has always been Hillwood’s keenest and most popular game. Hillwood is one of the girls school which continues to play tennis in Kandy. At one time tennis was the favourite game. Now they are keen to revive the sport. The founders of the school and all past principals realized the importance of sports and gave due credit to the physical development of the child. They were the first school to have its own tennis court. The 126-year-old school is famous for their well-mannered girls in sports.

The school has a blend of well qualified and experienced professional academic staff that impart knowledge as well as inculcates discipline and values to the future generations. Now the past pupils under the leadership of Dunuwille have got together and are raising funds to revive the 100-year old tennis court. They recently organized a Dance titled the ‘Gold & Silver Breeze Dinner dance’ to raise funds which was a grand success. The principal Alwis and the president of the PPA are keen to obtain assistance from Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

We’ve all heard tennis being referred to as the “sport for a lifetime.” But is this really true? According to world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines, there is no doubt that tennis can improve overall health, including mental and physical fitness. Tennis is a sport which helps improve fitness, burns fat and improves cardiovascular fitness. It also helps maintain higher energy levels. A game of tennis offers a short, intense workout. Tennis players stay fit because they sprint, jump and lunge during play. Tennis also helps build stronger leg muscles. The sport helps body coordination since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully. The sport also helps improve bone strength and density. When bones are strengthened young players don’t run the risk of suffering from osteoporosis in old age. Which parent wouldn’t want their children to get these benefits through tennis?

Hillwood College PPA Executive committee 2016-17 – Patron: Nelum de Alwis (Principal HCK), Vice Patron: Lalani Kiridena, President: Sirini Dunuwille. Vice Presidents: Charmalie Rupasinghe, Tara Senanayake, Dilshani Pananwala. Secretary: Aruni Dunuwille. Assist Secretary: Anurangani Wagodapola. Treasure: Anoma Weerakoon, Assist Treasurer: Fathima Majeed. Committee members.- Indrani Kehelpannala, Manel Kumarasinghe, Suneela Liyanage, Loranthi Weerakoon, Nayana Rambukwelle, Menaka Dissanayake, Aloka Pilapitiya, Champika Manatunge, Delicia Ariyarathne, Malintha Ratnayake, Hafsa Nistar Sally, Dhanushika Madagoda, Vindya Mullegama, Nayani Egodage, Anya Mangalagama and Ramya Kalugampitiya.

One of the early tennis teams of Hillwood Girls' School
One of the early tennis teams of Hillwood Girls’ School