Kandy is a joy-filled sporting and culture loved town where rugby has become the number one sport overtaking football, hockey and cricket.
It is easy to forget that 120 years ago many of the sports we take for granted did not exist and if they did would be barely recognizable to the modern sports audience.
In this rugby review this writer looks back at last week’s second round matches played by Kandy schools in the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield competitions.
Trinity beat St. Joseph’s in the Cup competition to keep their dreams alive. Then Kingswood had a victory over St. Anthony’s and Dharmarajah fashioned a good win over Vidyartha while St. Sylvester’s went down to Thurstan.
Sri Sumangala was to play against Lalith Athulathmudali MV but this match did not kick-off. Sri Rahula playing in the Division II Cup beat President’s College.
Today other than Trinity College all other schools are badly affected without a venue to play their rugby games and this has become a major issue where the no one has taken any notice at all.
Most of the schoolboys enjoy playing rugby and are sure of good opportunities after leaving school.
Children play voluntarily so keep them in the game. Schools have to look after the coaches and today a school has about four coaches. Schools need big money to play a match with all expenses very high. Ground fees go sky high and the Bogambara ground is so hard on the surface that a separate hospital bill for players has to be set aside.
At school level rugby is one of the most popular ball games and the Schools Rugby Association has apparently no control in the early part of the season. There was a strict code of amateurism that made it enjoyable and boys played for the love of the game.
Still, the game is cared for and is about the best. Though most ruggerites learn the game at school, rugby is an all-inclusive sport that attracts everyone alike. All rugby players are keen followers.
They ruck, scrum and maul for the love of the game. Fewer are as passionate about their sport as rugby players. It’s a game that breeds camaraderie, loyalty and sportsmanship. (HM)