London Elle Festival – Organised by Athula Dassana Multi Cultural Buddhist Centre
by Athula Dassana
Published: 02 Sep 2013
The first Elle (Sri Lankan traditional game) festival in the UK organised by Athula Dassana Multi-Cultural Buddhist Centre was held last year. The second festival was held at the Little Harlington Playing Fields, Sipson lane, Hayes, UB3 5EU on the 25th of August 2013.
The Elle festival was organised under the guidance of Mr Bandara Wekadapola, with the help of the committee members of the temple. It was a good opportunity for the young Sri-Lankans who were living in the UK to take part in a Cultural Sports event.
The Chief Guests of the festival were The Mayor of Hillingdon - Allan Kauffman and his wife Lynn Kauffman, Mr.Nevill Silva -Deputy High Commisioner of Sri-Lanka.
The Main Sponsors were - Danushka Bandara of Nandika Gems, Indunil Wijenayake-UK Cargo, Sumith Kuruppu
The Co-Sponsors were- Uditha Senarathna, Ajantha Jayasinghe, Ranga Ranasinghege, Janaka Gamage, Dr.Nishanie Bajramovic (BDS)
Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa the founder of this temple which opened on the 7th of July 2011 has been organising both religious and cultural activities, which have led to the growth of this temple. We have around 500 local devotees who have substantially aided in the development of this establishment.
Traditionally, Elle has two innings per side but modern Elle games are limited to 25-ball matches. An Elle game is similar to Rounders. These games are unique as they have 8 men and 2 women per team.
The festival commenced at 9.00 AM and the festival was concluded at 9.00 PM. And approximately 500 people attended the event. There were 14 teams who played in the festival.
We organised Sri Lankan food stalls and also featured traditional Sri-Lankan dance. Traditional Sri-Lankan games were organised for the children as well as Tug of war for adults and children. The event was organised in order to bring the community together in play, and it aided to improve the well-being of the people.
After the conclusion of the festival, prizes were handed to the all winners who participated, by the guests of honour.
The winners of the game were 'Katuneriya' team from Leicester, who took the trophy, medals and a prize of £400. The second prize went to 'Wanabambaro' from Hounslow, who took a trophy medals and £250 of a prize, which they kindly donated to the temple. The third prize went to 'The Edgeware Kids', who received a plate, medals and a prize worth £150.
Furthermore, other things were available on the day such as a Sri-Lankan musical group. All the visitors enjoyed the music and dancing.
The generous physical and monetary donations of our devotees helped to make our event a great success.
Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa
Head of the Athula Dassana International Buddhist centre
President of the Athula Dassana Multi Cultural Buddhist Community