By S. Joypooranachandren –
Saravanamuthu Mylvaganam – MBE
Our community feels honoured that one of our eldest son’s commitment and hard work towards the community’s betterment is recognised by Her Majesty. It is a jubilant time for the Tamil Schools Sports Association (TSSA), Surbiton Sports Club, Kingston Institute of Tamil Culture (KITC), and the whole Sri Lankan community.
Myla is from a town called Jaffna, north of Sri Lanka, and studied in the renowned school of Hartley College. His career began in the 1960’s when he was selected to participate in district matches, competing against teams from all schools in Northern Sri Lanka and with various selected teams visiting from India.
As a talented and stylish batsman at Hartley College, he always opened the batting line for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Cricket teams at his college. Representing Jaffna Schools Selected Cricket Teams he played and performed excellently against the Indian School Team in 1964. In addition, he obtained numerous honours when he played for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Eleven football teams for his college. From an early age he became a respected, well known and well loved sport personality during his time at college and in Jaffna.
After declining recruitment for the Ceylon Army, he travelled to England to continue with education, qualifying as a Network System Administrator for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which has been his occupation for the last 40 years. Nevertheless he maintained his strong aptitude for cricket by playing for the DTI’s Cricket Team in London.
While enjoying playing cricket he embarked on finding friends with a similar interest of establishing sporting organisations in the UK to train and organise sporting events to provide opportunity for young children to excel in their sporting abilities.
He established a coaching programme at a community school in New Malden in the name of KITC – Kingston Institute of Tamil Culture and entered the cricket team at the local league. He was inspirational and many trained by him became fine cricketers at their respective local schools in the Royal Borough of Kingston.
Surbiton Sports Club was founded in 1985 with his cricketing friends and Myla played for over 15 years for the club and became President in 2012 when the club celebrated its first Jubilee. He currently trains youths at the nets both winter and summer, manages the players, and the club has won many prizes and made it to the top of the local league for many years. His own back garden became a training pitch to train young children during weekdays and evenings.
Tamil School Sports Association (UK) – TSSA (UK) was founded in 1992 by Myla along with 11 others to organise One Day, 7-A-Side Football Tournaments in May and Cricket and Netball Tournaments in August every year for young children of various age groups from under 14 to adults in the Community. Every year over 2000 children take part in various sporting activities in TSSA events. TSSA is celebrating its first Jubilee this year. (2015) He was elected as President for the TSSA (UK) in 2005 and 2006, and has always been a strong pillar for the organisation throughout its progress over its 25 years of activity.
Furthermore, Myla enrolled as president of Hartley College Past Student Association in the (UK) in 2009 and organised sporting and cultural events which generated mass funding to help the sporting activities for the young children in Sri Lanka.
Saravanamuthu Mylvagana has worked tirelessly for the majority of his life to bring about thriving organisations in order to give young ones and older ones alike the opportunity to partake in sports and community activities and enhance their potential talents. It is no wonder that his charitable works has been rightly recognised and credited, a privilege which he surely deserves. He is an outstanding example and continuous inspiration to all who provide services willingly without anticipating something in return. Myla, we are proud of you…