The first ever Elle tournament outside Sri Lanka was organised by Athula Dassana Multi Cultural Buddhist Community Centre in 2012. The Elle Festival was organised for third time on the 24/08/2014 at Little Harlington Playing Fields ground, Heathrow. The Chief organiser of the event was Venerable Wanduramba Kassapa Thero who is the chief incumbent of the Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple. The event concluded successfully with the support of all Sri Lankan residents in and around the London area.
The chief guest of the event was Mayor of Harlington Councillor Catherine Dann. In addition Councillor Dr.Tania Mathias and Councillor Mr.Manjeet Buttar. Mr.Niranjan Pathirathna from The Sri-Lankan High Commission also resided. The chief guest specifically commented on the importance of events of this nature, which promoted a national game. The special feature of the event was that it was open to all religious communities without prejudice. lle bats and balls were specially made and provided by the Association of Elle, Sri-Lanka. The Development Lottery Board and Maliban Biscuit of Sri Lanka were the sponsors of the T- Shirts. Estetica Dental Clinic sponsored the caps which highlighted the Logo of Athula Dasssana Multi Cultural Buddhist Community Centre. This is the Charity under which The Athula Dassana Buddhist Temple is governed.
Mr BandaraWekadapola who is a former Sri Lankan police Rugby player and Rugby Referee of London Society organised and managed the tournament on the day. Mr B. Wekadapola and Mr. Newmal Perera refereed the competition. Ten teams participated and ‘London Eagles’ became the champions.
The Tug of War Competition was judged by Mr.Terence Spoorc – Vice President of the Tug of War UK ( Middlesex ). ‘Black Court Security’ were the champions the of Tug of War.
There were many events for the children at The London Elle festival.
The Co-Sponsors of the Elle event were UK Cargo – Mr Indunil Wijenayaka, Tarrin Constantine Associates.Media coverage for the event was provided by the newspaper Ceylon UK – Mr Ranga Ranasinghage. Other sponsors were Mr.Uditha Senanayake from Vonmack, Mr. Chanuka Samarakoon, Mr. Nilantha Kuruppuarachchige and TILLMAX company.
All who participated the event had an opportunity to experience various Sri Lankan food items, such as Kotthu, Biriyani, Hoppers, short eats , drinks and other Sri Lankan Sweets. A Sri-Lankan craft and nik naks stall raised funds for the ADMCBCC Charity (No: 1155139).
The finale of the festival gave the visitors a taste of Sri-Lankan music.
The support provided by all organisations, members of the committee and devotees of the temple which consisted of more than 600 Sri Lankans was very much appreciated by Ven Wanduramba Kasspa Thero. We hope that the support given for this event will continue in promoting Sri Lankan traditional events in London in the future.
Reported by Pushpika Sugandi Ekanayaka