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Of Sports Schools and schools sports



by Reemus Fernando

Continued from yesterday

Education and sports

Apart from Sports Schools (23) there are hundreds of other schools producing sportsmen and women to national level. For example there are 635 cricket playing (active) schools around the country. Of them 120 schools play cricket at Under-19 level where a vast majority of players are advanced level students. Cricket officials take an effort to get their players pass the O/L examination to retain them for the Under-19 team. But that interest is suddenly lost when the player enters A/L classes because ‘they are there to play cricket not to learn’. Many scholar athletes give up on education after passing the O/L exam. “That is not because they are weak students. But because they are not told about the importance of education,” says a former schools cricketer.

Over 50 first class cricketers lost their jobs at leading Companies (playing Mercantile Cricket) recently in the aftermath of the Covid 19 forced lock down because “they were there just to play cricket.” However some of these companies have not terminated the contracts of cricketers who also work in other departments while also making their cricket teams.

When the England Youth cricket team toured Sri Lanka in 2011 their back up staff had teachers to look after the education of players. Players who were not involved in matches were seen taking tuition in an area adjacent to the press box during their match at the Galle Stadium.

When Sri Lanka Cricket select a Youth team it is compulsory for them to accompany a schools representative appointed by the ministry of education. His duty is to represent the Education Ministry and is in charge of the players during the tour but has no ‘duty with regard to their education.’

When Sports Schools were started ‘teachers were assigned to work with scholar athletes who miss lessons due to training or competitions.’ Those teachers were paid extra for the tuition classes they conducted.’ That is hardly practiced at Sports Schools at present. Several International Schools which took sports seriously during the last two decades are doing a better job in this regard.


Hostels or stadiums

At schools level a hostel is as important as the stadium and other sports equipment to an athlete. The hostel facilities of Sports Schools are in almost dilapidated condition. A student obtaining sports scholarships should feel at home at hostels if he or she is to persevere in sports. The dormitory facilities of almost all Sports Schools need more room and speedy renovation.

It is incumbent upon Sports Ministry and the Ministry of Education to give serious thought to these considerations among other things and consult relevant officials who could provide inputs into making Sports Schools the nurseries of country’s future sportsmen and women.



Ranindu, Nethmi crowned king and queen



National Chess Championship 2020

Sixteen year old Ranindu Liyanage of Ananda College, Colombo and Nethmi Fernando of Girls High School won the men’s and women’s titles respectively of the National Chess Championship at Hotel Taj Samudra on Monday.

Ranindu who was playing excellent chess from the start concluded with a total of 10 ½ points (out of possible thirteen). Young Ranindu’s only defeat was at the hands of C.C. Weerasinghe during the penultimate round. His results included three draws against L.M.S.T. de Silva, Lakshitha Randil and Gayantha Dissanayake. He was victorious against all others. Ranindu received a cash award of Rs. 100,000.00, a Trophy and a Gold medal.

Nethmi, meanwhile scored 10 points for her title. She had an excellent start in the first half of the event scoring 6 ½ points in seven games. She had a disappointing start to the second half, suffering back to back defeats at the hands of Sandeepani Tharushi and Newanji Hewawasam but came back fighting to score 3 ½ out of four in the last four rounds. Nethmi, who is also 16 received a cash award of Rs. 60,000.00 apart from the Gold medal and the Trophy.

The National Chess Championship 2020 started on September 11 was conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka. Holger Seubert, the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony which was also attended by Sandamali Aviruppola, Principal, Visakha Vidyalaya, Luxman Wijesuriya, the President CFSL and Deepthi Hewageegana, the Deputy President.

Minul Doluweera of Royal College, Colombo also had a memorable event where he scored 10 points out of a total of 13. The dual between Doluweera and Liyanage was crucial as it seperated the winner and the runners up. Doluweera had to satisfy with the Silver medal. He played an exciting game with International Master, Romesh Weerawardena in the final round where a position of famous mating net arrived after Minul’s 21st move.

Fourteen year old, Susal de Silva of Nalanda College won the Bronze medal in the Nationals. Theekshana Denuwan(16) of Ananda College performed well to be placed fourth, while International Master Romesh Weerawardane secured the fifth position.

After losing her first three games of the event Sandeepani Tharushi of Devi Balika came back strongly to score 9 ½ points with Ashvini Pavalachandran of Wicherly International School. Sandeepani got the Silver Medal on the better tie breaker and Ashvini the bronze. Tharushi Niklesha of Visakha Vidyalaya and Women International Master Sachini Ranasinghe were placed fourth and fifth respectively.

The Chess Federation presented a cash award of Rs. 250,000.00 to the Sri Lankan Chess Hero, Master Harshana Thilakarathne of Maliyadeva College who reach the 2400 FIDE Ranking and received the International Master Title from FIDE, the World Chess Federation. He reached this ranking 36 years after FIDE Master Harsha Aturupane reached that level in 1986. Since the CFSL had invited all National Champions of Sri Lanka, former stars such as Aturupane and Harinlal Aturupane and Suneetha Wijesuriya were present at the Awards.

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SLC has a new ‘Formal Clothing Sponsor’



Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) signed a three-year agreement with Namal Balachandra Private Limited, thus choosing the firm as the ‘Official Formal Clothing Sponsor’ of National Teams. The agreement was signed and exchanged between Sri Lanka Cricket and Namal Balachandra Private Limited at the SLC headquarters with Mohan de Silva, Honorary Secretary of the SLC and Namal Balachandra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Namal Balachandra Private Limited signing on behalf of the respective entities.

Under the agreement, Namal Balachandra Private Limited, a renowned apparel and costume designer in Sri Lanka will provide formal clothing to the National Men’s and Women’s Teams.

“We are very happy to have Namal Balachandra Private Limited as our formal clothing sponsor, which comes at a critical time, not only for the game of cricket, but for the entire world, owing to the ongoing health crisis,’’ said de Silva, Honorary Secretary of SLC.

“Therefore, we value this sponsorship immensely, as it shows the commitment of the corporate world to keep Sri Lanka Cricket continue its forward journey,’’ de Silva further said.

Under the agreement, Namal Balachandra will be entitled to use the exclusive title of “Official Formal Clothing Sponsor of Sri Lanka National Cricket Teams,” on all its stationary, promotional material and advertisements during the term. “We are proud to be a part of Sri Lanka Cricket and its forward journey, as we know this tie up will definitely contribute towards enriching the value of our brand,’’ said Balachandra, Chairman and Managing Director of Namal Balachandra Private Limited.

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Perera & Sons steps into Esports with mobile tournaments



Perera & Sons, Sri Lanka’s foremost Quick Service Restaurant facility provider, has announced their first foray into Mobile Esports with two events for mobile gamers. The “P&S PUBG Mobile Series” will feature PUBG Mobile as its stand-alone event with Rs. 100,000 in prize money going out to the top eight placements of the event. In addition, the “P&S Mobile Contenders” event will feature Free Fire (squad based battle-royale) and Call of Duty Mobile (Multiplayer) with a prize pool of Rs. 50,000 split between the two events.

Perera & Sons has partnered with Gamer.LK to take their brand to today’s youth and young adults who are engaged heavily in Esports. Esports is considered the fastest growing sport in the country. Estimates put Sri Lanka’s gaming population at three million, with thousands actively taking part in competitive Esports events throughout the year.

“We are very excited to join with Gamer.LK as we believe Esports will be the future of all sports! It has the ability to encompass and engage enthusiasts, especially female gamers, from all walks of life. With the advent of Covid19 and the many lockdowns the world still faces, Esports has been able to engage people from their very own homes, without the need for physical on-site presence, when even stepping out of the home may not be allowed due to health and safety precautions. We are committed to establishing a solid Sri Lankan Olympic Team for Esports if the IOC accepts Esports as a fully-fledged sport for the Paris Olympics in 2024, and we plan to lobby our highly active NOC to make a case on behalf of Esports to be included as an Olympic sport,” Gihan Perera, the Managing Director of the company stated.

Perera & Sons, founded in 1902, celebrated their 118th year providing meals for Sri Lankans across the island. P&S has modernized their offerings recently with their webstore for online purchasing, partnering with food delivery networks such as Pickme & Uber Eats and catering to a younger consumer with their product offerings.



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