14-year-old Lankan-born Yevin carried Queen’s baton at Gold Coast C’wealth Games
A 14-year-old Sri Lankan born boy from Brisbane, Yevin Samararatne was selected to carry the Queen’s Relay baton at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games,in 2018
Sri Lankan born Yevin Samararatne is a young golfer who has won many State and national golf championships in Australia. His achievements in golf and studies are the main reason for his nomination by the school to carry the baton.
“We were living close to the Logan Golf Range. It was a common sight to see players indulge in practices on the course while we were passing by. One day we dropped in at the course with my plastic golf clubs. A coach came up to me and my family after he had observed my swing and told us that I possess a great swing. This prompted me to pursue golf as a career,” Yevin recalled.
He had taken part in several golf competitions across Australia and had won prizes at various clubs since 2012.He also clinched the Encouragement Award at Greg Norman Foundation (South East Queensland) Awards Ceremony 2012, Player of the Year Award for 2012 at River Lakes Golf Club and Spirit Of Golf Award for 2012 at Mt Warren Park Golf Club. He was awarded the Player of the Year Award for 2013 at Greg Norman Foundation (South East Queensland) Awards Ceremony as well as the “9 Hole Challenge Gross Winner” Award for 2013. He also bagged the Most Improved 9 Hole Player for 2013 at Mt Warren Park Golf Club.
In 2011, Sri Lanka made an unsuccessful bid to host the event. Despite last-minute lobbying and a close contest, Hambantota received just 27 votes, while games-ready Gold Coast was endorsed by 43 Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) members.
The CGF described Sri Lanka’s bid as “largely virtual” and offered medium to high risk. Sri Lanka took a huge delegation of 160 to the Caribbean, well ahead of the scheduled vote on November 11, 2011. Aboard the chartered plane were politicians, businessmen, cricketers, athletes, actresses, dancers and chefs. In contrast, Australian delegation comprised 20 members.
The bid to host the Games in deeply rural Hambantota was only based on an elaborate dream. The proposal was conjured out of thin air by Namal Rajapaksa, the former President’s sporty oldest son, who was being groomed for leadership at that time. The Organising Committee was co-chaired by then Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and then Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal.