When will Isipathana College get a ground of its own? This is the critical question asked by all rugby fans keen to see rugby improve in Sri Lanka.
According to Isipathana College Principal Premasiri Epa, talks are underway with Faizer Mustapha to have the Henry Pedris Park transferred to the school and make the academic institute its new owner.
“We are at present holding talks with minister Mustapha about the possibility of obtaining Henry Pedris Park, so that we can conduct our sports activities there. We hope to form a committee that can negotiate on this matter and formulate a legal document to inherit the ground,” said Epa.
But how realistic is this going to be with so much of politics being involved regarding this issue. This matter may have to be presented in parliament to obtain the approval of MPs and Ministers who would raise the issue as to whether Isipathana deserves the ground.
On the other hand, will the Colombo Municipal Council agree to part with this ground? Rugby fans believe for what it is worth, nothing is lost by giving it a try.
According to the history of rugby at Isipathana and the country, the school began playing rugby in the early 1960s. It has produced the most number of players to don the national jersey. Rugby enthusiasts believe this is good enough reason to give the Havelock Town school a ground of its own.
Isipathana College is one of the few schools to have won all trophies on offer in school rugby. They have excelled at rugby in all age categories. These trophies were won in tournaments conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association. It goes without saying that they produced the cream of rugby players in the present era.
Minister Harin Fernando started the ball rolling by donating Rs. 5 million towards rugby at Isipathana after auctioning a jersey signed by the 2015 World Cup winning All Blacks team of New Zealand.