ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, Augest 26, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 13

Schools demand more benefits

Kandy rugby sevens

By Harry Jayachandra

Singer International Rugby Sevens which is scheduled to be worked off in Kandy from September 7 to 9 has been hit with a few last minute snags. School authorities are up in arm complaining that from the inception of the tournament, each school was given Rs. 10,000. Despite the rising costs this amount has not increased. Principal of Isipatana K. Punyadasa told The Sunday Times that his school’s rugby committee wants benefits meted out increased or else it would be huge financial burden on the school.

Punyadasa said: “When we conducted the Isipatana International Sevens tournament we provided accommodation, food and all the facilities for schools from overseas as well those from Sri Lanka. This is how it should be done. We have sent a letter to the relevant authorities stating our plight. As President of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association I have also been told that other schools are facing the same financial problem as we are.”

When contacted chairman of the organizing committee Isfan Omar said: “I have not received any complaint from a school regarding this problem. Since I am Chairman any such letter should come to me. What people have to understand is that costs have increased almost two fold from last year. In fact the International Rugby Board (IRB) has asked us why we are inviting schools for this tournament, which as you know is also an IRB satellite tournament. We invite schools because we want to give them exposure. However, if any school has a financial problem we would certainly look at how we could help that respective school out.”

He added: “Almost all the countries we invited have confirmed their participation. Japan expressed security concerns. But President of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union Nimal Lewke spoke to Japanese Ambassador who endorsed the fact that Kandy is one of the safest places to play rugby. Arabian Gulf pulled out at the last moment.

I have written to them asking for an explanation as they have not given one. I have also pointed out to them that pulling out at the eleventh hour is very unfair as it gives us little or no time to find a replacement. Other than for these few problems we have put everything in place to have a spectacular fiesta of rugby.”Thus rugby fans will just have to wait and see what transpires in the next couple of weeks.

Top to the page

Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.