ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 44

It’s time that SLRFU had a closer tab on schools rugby

Vimal Perera

The Rugby Season 2007 is gathering momentum with two legs of the club sevens completed. The National team is in Hong Kong to play in the Hong Kong Sevens under the leadership of Kandy and ex Kingswood player Chamara Vidanage. Sri Lanka are to meet Fiji in the opening match and were drawn into the same group with Scotland and Portugal. The side will hopefully perform better so that Sri Lanka can climb several notches in the sevens rankings. As this column is read we will have news of Sri Lanka’s performance of the first day.

Thurstan College which is celebrating its 50th anniversary organized a seven a side tournament for the schools. The winners were Isipatana College who won the final with a huge margin beating St Anthony’s College Kandy .

Meanwhile it is, said, that the SLRFU is working to improve the infrastructure. This will include improvement to its headquarters as well as the developing ground and other related facilities. The addressing of these issues I believe is an important area for development. The lack of a ground is not only a problem for the SLRFU but has been a problem for the schools as well as some of the clubs. If the SLRFU has a ground it would be very much of a shot in the arm for the game. This will address many issues including availability of facilities for the national as well as the development squads. It will also help some of the school teams who find it difficult with ground arrangements. While it will not cure all the problems caused due to the lack of grounds it definitely will help in a big way. Another to benefit will be the teams from the services who have a problem as their grounds are situated inside security zones.

While all this is happening there seem to be a block in the feeder drain. While the development work is going on with the structure being strengthened there is uncertainty on the calendar of the breeding ground; the schools. It seems like a patient stung by mosquitoes and now suffering from the after effects of chikungunya. Where the body is wobbly in action as the legs seem unable to carry the weight.

This week the schools under twenty are being played at Nittawela. At last some schools might say. They were unaware of the tournament taking place even at the beginning of the week. One was the question of a ground and so to Nittawela they went. The other was will it be played in one ground or two. This could not have been done as they did not know how many teams will be playing as at the 24th. This was while the matches were to be played on the 31st of March and on 1st April. The game at the school level still produces entertaining rugby despite the hiccups.

Confusion is yet not over on the issues relating to the eligibility of players that has resulted in some schools being threatened with demotion. The action has led to the decision being challenged in courts thus leading to uncertainty as to when the schools calendar will kick off. There is also speculation that new format tournament will be played while the outcome of disciplinary action to enforced after the courts decide. . The action to suspend or not will then move to another year. In the meantime it is rumored that all teams will play in a top ten tournament with three top tens? Does this remind of King Kekille’s and his solutions?
The arguments for and against as well as the interpretations and the action taken by the schools section depends on the contents of The Ministry of Education circular 2006 /20 on admissions and the subsequent clarification by the ministry letter dated 2006.10 25. And subsequent court of appeal decision dated 14.12 2006. Whatever the final outcome, it is the game that is taking a back seat. While decisions and clarifications are pending may be you should start reading the circulars as with a long weekend will be with you.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.