Tharushi outstands in Karate! | Sunday Observer

Tharushi outstands in Karate!

P. G. Chariya Tharushi Jayawardena is as special child who out stands in Karate, the world famous martial art that evolved in Japan. Meaning “empty hand” in Japanese, Karate can be practised as an art, self defence or as a combat sport. It is in the latter category that Chariya excels in.

She studies in Grade Six at the Presbyterian Girls’ School, Dehiwala. Suffering from profound hearing loss, she started her education at the Kelaniya Dalugama Centre for Education of Hearing Impaired Children. Currently she is actively involved in dancing, the music band and gymnastics apart from Karate, which has brought her many awards nationally and internationally.

Karate has helped Tharushi to overcome the challenges and obstacles in life, as traditional karate places emphasis on self-development. According to sports psychologists, karate training emphasizes psychological elements incorporated into a proper kokoro (attitude) such as perseverance, fearlessness, virtue, and leadership skills which are essential for differently-abled students like Chariya. Moreover, Karate places emphasis on exercise and competition which too have helped mould Tharushi’s progress.

In an interview with the Junior Observer Tharushi said that she has won many awards and her future ambition is to become a karate coach. She has won the Gold medal at the under 11 National Karate Championship 2016. Tharushi has won both Kata (a formalized sequence of movements which represent various offensive and defensive postures) and Kumite (sparring or meeting of hands practised both as a sport and self-defence training) Gold medal at the under 12 National Championship 2017. She was also placed first in Kata and Kumite and was adjudged the Best Player at the Annual Inter House Sports Meet 2017. Internationally she has come on top 10 list at the 16th Malaysian Milo Open Karate Championship 2015 for both Kata and Kumite forms.

Tharushi said, “My mother Priyanka Jayawardena and father Susantha Jayawardena are very helpful and motivating. I started doing karate in April 2015. My karate coach at school, Anura. A. Kathriaarachchi realised that I have some talent in this sport. He called my mother and asked whether she is willing to let me join this sport. He trained and coached me well. I won in all the competitions in which I participated from the day I joined this sport.”

She further said that Sr. Greta Naalavaththa was the main inspiration for my achievements today. “She made me an independent person. She taught me to win in this world despite my disability. I was born in Dubai and soon after I came to Sri Lanka I joined the Kelaniya Dalugama Centre for Education of Hearing Impaired Children. Under Sr. Greta I learnt speech and language which I believe is the foundation for my success. I won the Gold medal for the first time at the Western Province Karate Championship 2017. The reason for my achievement at this championship was my coach Dinusha Hemal. I am very grateful to him as he helped me come forward in life without fear. He made me realise that disability does not stop a person from achieving and moving forward in life,” Tharushi added.

Tharushi’s advice to other youngsters with special needs and different abilities is to move forward in life, surmounting all challenges and obstacles. “Do not think about what you cannot do, always be positive and take up something you would like to do from sport to studies. Be adventurous and try new things even if they might seem difficult at first. That is how I have excelled in this field. The sky is the limit if you have the proper attitude and desire for success”.

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