ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 02

Sanity….Where the hell is it heading?

Who is to take the blame for the disastrous school rugby season that is in progress? This was the I question I asked last week? I wondered whether the ego machinery that was at work was a contributing factor whilst saying “Sadly heads of both schools (or should it be all schools) have contributed to the present mess. The schools section now blames Royal College for their action. They allege this has disrupted the tournament. The grouse now is that Royal should have voiced their protest if they were not in agreement to the proposed format. It seems the story will go on but it never will be they lived happily ever after.

Despite the ups and downs the school rugby season stumbles along. – Pic by Saman Kariyawasam

On my comment that heads of both schools (referring to the Royal / Issipatna fiasco) the principal Royal College Mr. Upali Gunasekera spoke to me. He explained that he never intended to hurt Issipatana College What he wanted was to ensure that if there was a rule it has to be adhered to. He explained that it was not only Patana that he had written to but also to other leading schools which included their traditional rivals. What he wished was that there be a level playing field and the guidelines addressed as those leading the young has a moral responsibility to do what is right. If not to set it right. He believed that any means should not be used to justify the end.

If that was the intention why has this not been explained, debated and solutions found by the schools rugby body. Let us assume that somebody made a mistake. Why is it that one cannot sit and negotiate and come to a settlement? Why has this issue reached a stage that one needs a peace keeping force? The fact is that schools rugby is disrupted. The question is can these pundits get together to find a solution.

Adding further to the troubles that were building were the incidents that took place in Pallekelle. The scenario last week added a new ingredient to the pot that is already boiling. The heritage and pride of two long standing schools, Trinity and Kingwood, brought to shame and ridicule. Yet there are others who attempt to justify the action on the basis that the referee erred. Irrespective of what the fact is. This will only help to push into the background the cardinal sin. Father, Son and the Holy Spirit please forgive me for I have done no wrong. The spirit and sportsmanship as envisaged has no place for those who have yet to understand those lovely expectations of the founders and the promoters of the game.

What happened there makes me believe that it is just not two heads but all heads that have to take the blame for throttling rugby at the cradle? While there is more added on to the confusion the authorities of the schools section seemed to carry on regardless.

While all are failing apart as schools rugby burns, it appears the SLSRA is still tuning their instruments like Nero sitting on the tower and playing the fiddle while Rome was burning. The situation worsens by the day as those who shouted most to take office are not supported by the others. The others include the people who matter. The schools who play at the higher level. It seem they wish to justify the saying “every man rises to his level of incompetence”. There being many who can raise there hands for a vote does not necessarily mean the best will be elected. Is this the situation that is leading this section of the game down the precipice?

It has reached a stage where the family physician cannot help. It needs a specialist. The wound has festered and the feeder for rugby is threatened. It still can be responsive to treatment without having to reach a stage of amputation. Schools rugby has reached a stage where it requires specialist treatment and help. It may be need a bypass.

Junior Rugby is in the hands of the schools therefore they claim to be under the Ministry of Education. Rugby is within the purview of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union which gets its direction from the Ministry of sports. It is time for the Ministry of Sports to take the bull by the horns. Convince his colleague the Minister of Education that the game is suffering. Make it necessary for the SLRFU to be involved in giving the specialist knowledge and guidance.

It will be no easy task. The longer it takes the more difficult it will be. The pedagogues will never want to give back what they have.

Reminds me of a referee who always said “I will never get married to a teacher” asked why he would reply “they are always right”

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.