SLB Rosa visits Seenigama

Sellappuliyage Lucian Benedict Rosa, better known as SLB Rosa is one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned former athletes, who now resides in USA. We, at the Foundation of Goodness, were exceptionally fortunate to have him visit the Seenigama Sports Academy during a recent visit to Sri Lanka and speak to our young athletes and sportsmen & women so that they could learn about all the hard work he put in to becoming a great success, despite all the hardships he experienced.

While in school, young Lucian was originally interested in football. He practiced hard and was always the last person off the field because after every practice session he would make sure to run the distance of one mile before finishing for the day. His principal soon noticed this, and called him into his office one day to ask him to try his luck as an athlete, and so, for the first time SLB Rosa turned his attention towards the track. He started as a middle-distance runner, running cross country for Dharmaraja College and upon leaving school he joined the SL Army Engineering Core where he continued to pursue his skills as a long distance and marathon runner.

Being from an extremely poor background never held him back, and many of his races were run barefoot. His first ever overseas tour was to the 1966 Asian Games where he won 2 bronze medals. Since then he went on to win gold at the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the 1970 Asian Games setting an Asian Games record at the 10,000m event. Participating in the Boston Marathon in 1975 he set a Sri Lankan record which was only recently surpassed but his personal best of 29:18.0 minutes at the 10,000m still holds the record in Sri Lanka since 1975.

Although he now lives in America, even during his brief visits to Sri Lanka Mr. Rosa remains committed to motivating and encouraging our young rural athletes to follow in his footsteps. He knows better than any other that your talents, when combined with hard work, can take you far, no matter how disadvantaged your background might be.

He spoke at length with all the gathered youngsters, sharing stories from his life, his moments of determination or strife and how he overcame it all. His life story holds great hope and motivation for our up and coming sportsmen and athletes to never give up on their dreams.


12th July 2017



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