See My Story - Shehan Ambeypitiya

I am pleased to share my story with a school that has stood by me, during my good times and also bad times. I still recall the day I joined Gateway after leaving President’s College, Rajagiriya. I was a little nervous of the change as I was wondering whether I will be able to adjust in an international school as many people had warned me that they were only for the elite. It was never the case at Gateway. From the very first meeting that I had with Chairman Mr. Alles, Gateway was not only my school, but my home. I made lots of friends who are still there for me even in my bad times. I still remember them writing notes for me when I missed school due to my competitions. We had great times together and they were true friends”.

Once when I had obtained very low marks for one of my term tests, I was summoned by Mr. Alles and was told that studies should be my priority. Thereafter, Mr. Alles made a time table that included extra classes, and but also still gave me permission to come to school late, after practices. Mr. Alles requested the teachers to hold these extra classes and the loving and concerned teachers of Gateway helped me to get through my Advanced Subsidiary (AS).

I also believe that it is Gateway that brought me good luck, as I was selected to represent the country in a world class competition for the first time in my life, soon after joining the school. This was the World Youth Athletics Championship held in Czech Republic. Since then I have represented Sri Lanka on more than 25 occasions. They included World Junior Athletics Championship 2007 in Poland where I was placed 7th in the world in the 100m; Asian Junior Athletics Championship where I won a silver medal in the 100m; South Asian Junior Athletics Championships where I won 3 gold medals - in 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m; and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune where I again won 3 gold medals - in 100m, 200m and 4x100m. I should say that I was fortunate enough to be the Commonwealth Youth Champion while I was still a schoolboy. Around the same time, with the support and the encouragement I had from the school, I managed to get through my Advanced Level examination (A2).

After getting through my London Advanced Level, the Directorate of Gateway gave me a scholarship to commence my degree at the Gateway Graduate School, but within a few months I also received a scholarship to go to Jamaica for my further training. When this information was conveyed to him , Mr. Alles told me that his dream was to see me representing the country and the school at the Olympics, and that I should take up the offer to move to Jamaica. I am very grateful to Mr. Alles and the Board of Directors for making me strong financially by finding sponsorships and for being with me in my good times and the bad times. The sponsorship I received from Ceylon Biscuits (Munchee) at the beginning of my career was very useful to me. I wish to express my gratitude to all my coaches, especially Mr. Sunil Gunawardane who set the stage for me to get to where I am today.

Currently I am undergoing training in Jamaica along with Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. I am determined to make my country and my alma mater proud, by doing my very best at the London Olympics later this year.