See My Story - Miniruwani Samarakoon

I came to Gateway College in Year six, on a full scholarship given to me by Mr. Asoka Herath, my dearest headmaster, and Mr. R.I.T. Alles, our beloved Chairman, based on my sports and academic achievements. When I joined Gateway, I had already been selected to the Open National Swimming team, as its youngest member at only 10 years of age, and had a long road ahead.

What more can I say? My school life at Gateway has been simply wonderful. My teachers were the best! They were always supportive, going out of their way by staying after school with me and even during school holidays to keep my academics upto scratch. I was first in class from Year six to Year thirteen, and had a large haul of prizes at each prize giving. I never took private tuition as I got all the help I needed from school. I got top results at Key Stage II and III (the highest possible grades awarded), 8A*’s and 3A’s at O/L (IGCSE)s and 4 A’s at A/L. All of this was achieved after being virtually absent at class (I had the lowest attendance!), because I was constantly out of the country attending competitions abroad or in Colombo.

I can remember my mother asking Dr. Alles just one month before my O/L examinations whether to send me for the World Championships in England (I would only arrive in SL two weeks prior to the exam), and Dr. Alles said, “No problem. It is a chance of a lifetime and I have full confidence in Miniruwani.” True to his word, I lived up to his expectations by getting the best results in school and an Edexcel High Achievers Award. Why was it possible? It was because my beloved teachers had completed all the syllabi more than four months ahead of the exam and even revisions were complete by this time. Such is the standard of academics at Gateway!
My wonderful Headmaster, Mr. Asoka Herath even gave me permission to come to school late, after practices, and leave early if I was too tired or had practices again, provided I kept up to date with class work.

When I came to Gateway at 10 years of age, I had not seen a computer! By the age of fifteen, I had completed my BCS Degree in Computing! The youngest in the world at the time to do so! Such is the standard of IT in my wonderful Alma Mater.

When I came to Gateway, I could hardly write or speak properly in English! By now I have published two books - an anthology of poems “The World Through My Eyes” and a biography on Lady Baden Powell. I work as an English presenter at ITN and am the recipient of the prestigious National Youth Award for English Announcing.

I was a Prefect at school, was in the choir, did drama and anything and everything that Gateway could offer me. I was also the Swimming Captain for five years. I won my first South Asian Games medal while at Gateway in Year 7, and to date I have won 16 South Asian Medals to do my country proud. I am the top ranking female swimmer in the country and I humbly play the role of “role model” and I am the inspiration for many young girls in my country.

I would not be mistaken if I say that Gateway is at the root of what I am today and 90% of what I have achieved is due to Gateway!