Hong Kong ‘sevens’ – still a pipe dream

The term "The birds and the bees" is a common euphemism used to teach someone, often the young, about facts of human reproduction. It is kind of odd since how humans do “it” not quite the same way as birds and certainly not at all in the same way as bees.

Rugby is not Football though it is called Rugby Football. One would often find people playing with a rugby ball. It could be revellers on the beach or cricketers loosening up or filling the time when boredom sets on a rainy day. Yet they don’t become rugby players. Just as much as the story of birds and bees looks funny the bounce of the oval ball takes a funny twist. Rugby followers know what is happening around and can tell you a thing or two which seem not to sink to the lovable administrators.

With or without the birds and the bees children will learn the basics. Rugby too will be go on whether the managers fight or don’t fight. What will be missed is the smooth transfer of knowledge as you are in no position to focus on vision and mission. An issue is reasoned once and in a little while it will be carried out and when it is ended, another will surface to be reasoned about anew. There will be little time to think about anything. And or work on anything other than sorting issues. For example the more important thing of being among the top in Asia takes a back seat while development and working to get the funds from the IRB falls away from sight.

Dr. Maiya Gunasekara

It was interesting to talk to the New President of the Western Province Rizvi Ilyas whose objective is to promote the game in the province and have more and more rugby. To work with the council towards this end is a must and a priority according to him. That is irrespective of who controls the Council. Rugby is what has to win at the end of the day and we all there to serve rugby. Let us not harp on the past and work together to the betterment of rugby was his wish --great thoughts, hope and prospects that renew expectation.

Asked about nominations for the council Ilyas said that they will call for nomination form clubs and if there are any nominations, they will be forwarded to the Union. Ilyas also said that he is of the view that the province should vote for the majority choice of the province as they receive the votes. That is according to the constitution of the province and it is the province that carries the mandate of the clubs decided by a majority vote. We also spoke to Doctor Maiya Gunasekera the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Sport Council who was the head of the Interim Committee when the constitution was amended and during whose term of office the last Annual General Meeting was held. He says that method of voting was agreed by consensus. The clubs earn the votes for the Union and they should be the determinants of who is to vote. The Provincial Union is an administering set up for Managing Rugby in the Provinces as sport is not a devolved subject.

He also said that it is the club that earns the vote and they should determine how they vote. The constitution of the SLRFU allocates votes on the basis of representation depending on the clubs a province has. A union is also entitled to two votes for each ‘A’ Division club it has and an additional vote each for having more than two teams. Another clause that is relied upon is that of representation at meetings where a union may be represented by one delegate for each vote. Thus by implication the vote earners can vote. It is for administrative convenience that one delegate is asked to represent each individual mandate of the vote earner. Clubs earn votes which are first given on the basis of three for each ‘A’ Division Club that has two teams. Then the remainder of the total votes is divided among all clubs in the province. That is what should happen acceding to Doc Gunasekera.

The Provincial Union has the responsibility of nominating persons to office. For which they have the chance to send their nominee to contest. Western Province which has most votes it seems on paper to be able to call the shots. They believe they will carry the majority choice and the mandate. If however the clause “each vote entitling a delegate” is taken to mean that those who earn the votes decide on how to vote the outcome is different.

Like the birds and the bees one will never understand the rationale of equitable representation and who is correct. We will never understand nor have an explanation how and why we made a wrong calculation when we announced jubilantly that Sri Lanka will be at the Hong Kong Sevens, from Asia Malaysia returns in to the fray after 2003 along with China, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.

Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, coach and Accredited Referees Evaluator IRB

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