Off the court with Aritha

Annie Agutu

Contributing Writer

aaagutu@goshen.edu

 

Aritha Weerasinghe poses outside KMY lawn.

Aritha Weerasinghe poses outside KMY lawn.

First year student Aritha Weerasinghe made his mark on the tennis team this year, sending his team to the semifinals where he played 3rd, 4th and 5th positions.  His passion for tennis is evident with his exclusive remarks about the sport.

Born and raised in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, Weerasinghe attended Asian International School, a British system school that he graduated from a year ago. Shortly after graduation, he was recruited by the Goshen College tennis head coach, Stan King.

 

Weerasinghe had attended an all-boys school and was nervous about attending a co-ed institution. “The special thing at Goshen College is that it is a mixed community,” said Weerasinghe. He is impressed by the amount of diversity on the campus, not only in gender but also the richness of race and ethnicity.

 

Weerasinghe has played in a number of tennis national tournaments, including the Junior Davis cup held in Australia in 2011.  He was also able to travel to India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for the world Juniors tennis tournaments. He chose to attend Goshen College because he enjoyed the “close-knit Christian community.” He is currently majoring in business and minoring in economics. He chose to take these courses because he was inspired by his parents. “Both my mum and dad work in this field. They work hard every day and they seem very happy.”

 

When asked about his free time, he says he enjoys hanging out with his friends and reading books. “I enjoy hanging out in the game room. I play ping pong all the time,” Weerasinghe said, chuckling.  He also enjoys going bowling on Thursday nights with his fellow international students. The international body at the college plays a big role in helping him not feel homesick. “I really miss the food,” he said. He misses a lot of things about home, his family and friends being the main things.

 

“I plan on staying in the United States after college, for a job,” Weerasinghe said. He does not intend on working in Sri Lanka because there are more job opportunities here in the United States of which he would love to take advantage. However, he still promises to return to Sri Lanka to visit family and is currently very excited about his upcoming trip back to Sri Lanka during this summer break. “I’m very excited about going back home and I can’t wait to see my family and friends.”

 

“Not everyone gets the opportunity I have,” Weerasinghe said, speaking in a softer tone. “I thank my parents for giving me this opportunity, and I miss and love my whole family.” He gives all the credit to the game that built him: tennis. It requires a lot of discipline to be kind of athlete he is—an athlete who will be able to take one for his team no matter what. He is happy to be at Goshen College and is looking forward to meeting new people, learning about their cultures and learning about different norms and values.

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