out very soon India may manage our rugby
By Vimal Perera
There has been much discussion as well as criticism
of things of rugby in the newspapers as well as in places where
people interested in the game meet. Even as there have been comments,
which gives a feeling that all is lost, others seem to take every
opportunity to enjoy the game whenever the chance comes.
Saturday the 20th November enthusiast gathered on the beaches of
Negombo to play and or witness a tournament of Beach Rugby sponsored
by Carlsberg and organized by Chandrishan Perera and made possible
through the hospitality extended by the Jet wing Group of Hotels.
Over 40 teams participated in this tournament which was worked off
while they also played beach volleyball. It was a day out for fans
who did not seem to have a care for what's happening at the centre.
attitude was simply "let's enjoy". Many players of the
top clubs, including national stars, played in combined teams .
In attendance were teams of some corporates. Prominent among players
were Asanga Rodrigo, Mushtaq, Alex ( who after his stint of playing
took to the whistle), Lakala, Thariq and Malewana to name a few.
They were there to play rugby in a "jolly" spirit and
enjoy the hospitality and relish the food and drinks. The final
was played between Tri Star "A" and "B" who
played in good spirit and gave the crowd a worthy final to witness
despite it being a home and home affair. The participants were then
treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner. The spirit was at its best.
Congratulations to the organizers sponsors and all those who participated.
we will see more of this fun filled rugby offshoot in the future.
Despite all the fun and enjoyment there was one spoiler during the
semi final stage. The game was played on a two handed tap through
the day. There was one guy supporting the team (was he the manager)
and backed by a substitute ( a guy who could not find place in the
team) who thought of having a go at the referee. It was sad this
did not come from the ad hoc combinations of teams ( the "ahindhas")
but from a corporate in the hospitality trade who think of themselves
as "Grand" and somewhat "Oriental". Bigwigs
in business who are trying to tell those who matter how things are
to be done should have a cursory glance inwards. While those interested
in rugby continue to enjoy there are those who have to give direction
being taken to the cleaners virtually on a daily basis.
skins as some would say don't seem to be bothered even if they are
dashed about in the traditional way, of the "dhobi", hopefully
to cleanse the dirt. While this goes on in some quarters, we hear
of contest for various posts as though this was the need of the
hour to put rugby back on its tracks. Let us hope saner counsel
prevails and they get together to position rugby in to its proper
perspective, "as an enjoyable and marketable sport product".
the same time we learn of the Province that is Western trying to
organize a tournament of its own. For what may I ask? To keep some
out when over the years these glory boys have been sad followers
where leadership was expected. A question that has to be asked is
if we centre the major tournament, in a province ,what of the national
team the majority of who come from the central province. Its time
those whose vision is myopic look beyond their noses at this time
of need unless their sight has been badly impaired through long
be innovative and be the first if its kind why not the lovers of
the game get together and voice its opinion in what may be termed
"civic responsibility" as related to rugby.
all these go on, sadly though, I reflect on a chat had while in
Hong Kong during the Asian Rugby Football Tournament 2004. During
a pleasant intercourse with the bigwigs of Indian Rugby the discussion
drifted to the then proposed public offer of LIOC. The comment was
that India is giving a lesson on how to run petrol sheds in Sri
Lanka while they also show us the way to run coffee shops
this stage a bigger wig of Indian rugby commented in lighter vein
" very soon we will be able in the help you to manage your
rugby". The pottage of mess does not seem to be confined to
the 65,000 square kilometres we live on. Folks! May be the Norwegians
can help. Let's us ask Bala. I mean the one from the North.