A unique achievement by Royal

By M. Shamil Amit

Royal College Colombo one of the topmost schools in Sri Lanka are in a festive mood as they will be enjoying their institutions 175 years of existence which they are celebrating this year.

Some of the outstanding Royal sportsmen of 2009/10

Amidst their celebrations the year 2009 has been a successful one for the students who are involved in over 25 sports that the school takes part. Royal stamped its name in sports when they annexed the champion school of the year award at the Milo All Island Schools Colours Award Ceremony held at the BMICH recently.

Thirty six of their sportsmen were recipients at this prestigious award ceremony which is held to felicitate or recognize the effort the students around the island have put in to keep their respective school flag flying high.

The 36 sports colours received were incidentally the highest by any school for which Royal was awarded a special award. This also speaks volume and adds credence for the 175 year celebration. One of these recipients athlete Charith Kapukotuwa had the honour of winning the award for the emerging sportsmen of the year.

Royal principal Upali Gunasekera said “we don’t want to boast of our achievements but sincerely we hope that other schools go in the same direction and be positive in whatever they do for their students. I am proud to say we have reached top heights in both academic field and sports.

We have a strength of over 8000 students at Royal but a very few are involved in sports activities, this is due to some parents discouraging their children from sports and making concentrate on their studies.
“But even then the few that are involved are given all the encouragement as books alone will not make you a complete man. For anyone sports is a challenge and the final outcome whether you win or lose, is sure going to give you a better understanding in facing life in the future.

It’s the unity and understanding between the people concerned whether it is the players, master in charge or the coach that has been the success of sports in Royal. So we must encourage them and make effort to bring in more into the field of sports to be physically and mentally prepared for the challenges ahead.”

Speaking of the achievements of Royal in the year 2009, the school has been able to be in the top three in many as 11 sports at national level. Some worth mentioning are (Cricket) where they were the Munchee Youth Under 19 (two day) and T20 champions.Royal at rugger emerged the U20 Division 1A schools and U20 Schools Carlton International-Western Province 7’s champions. They were the cup runners up at the U20 Schools International 7’s tournament. Apart from that they won the Bradby Shield, Milroy Fernando and Michael Gunaratne trophy.

Royal also won trophies at table tennis and won many of the hockey trophies contesting against traditional schools. In gymnastics they were champions at the National Sports Games in most of the age categories.

At athletics they emerged overall champions at the circuit meet, runners up at the Zonal and Sir John Tarbet meet and second runner up at the Western Province meet. They showed success in chess tournaments too winning trophies and emerging runner up in major events.

Royal has shown tremendous improvement in sports in the recent past with a number of their sportsmen representing the junior national sides increasing. Three of their cricketers were selected to represent the Sri Lanka U19 team which toured Bangladesh and Australia.

Eight members of the school rugby namely skipper Naren Dhason, Nikira Senanayake, Hasitha Bandaranayake, Hamza Hassan, Ashane Dassanayake, Kalana Amarasinghe, Shabeer Mohamed and Chamara Dabare represented the U20 national squad at Junior Rugby Asiad held in Hong Kong.
The principal proudly mentioned that the above achievements are testament to the many skills and talents that sportsmen in Royal posses. It is truly heartening that these accomplishments have not been limited to certain sports.

But that the students in an astounding number of sports have excelled almost equally. Royal takes great pride in the sons that she has moulded, to thus carry on the great tradition of sportsmanship.

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