The University of Peradeniya is one of the oldest universities in Sri Lanka. At present, nearly 12,000 students follow their undergraduate& post graduate studies at the University. In 1940s, there was only one university in Sri Lanka called University of Ceylon. Mr. Brant Little acted as the first Director of Physical Education at the University of Ceylon located at the picturesque place at Peradeniya by the banks of the Mahaweli River. He was directly involved in student sports activities. From its inception, University of Peradeniya considered sports as an essential component in university education.
In 1959, Mr. Lesley Handunge, become the first Sri Lankan Director of Physical Education at the University of Peradeniya.The annual reports of the university during 1948-50 indicate that athletics, swimming, tennis and badminton were the prominent sports activities. Some of the athletes had exhibited national & international level performances.
By1952, athletics, boxing, cricket, tennis, hockey and carom had become the key sports activities. The acquisition of a cinder athletic track in 1953 saw an increase in the participation in athletics.
Furthermore, the gymnasium given to the university in 1957, by the Asian Foundation, facilitated organizing a number of sports events programmes at inter university level.
In 2001, the University of Peradeniya was granted a swimming pool and parquet floor for the gymnasium from the government.
The officers at the Department of Physical Education and the university officials are paying much attention in improving sports facilities in order to enhance student health and personality development in line with the concept “ A healthy mind in a healthy body”.