Jamaldeen’s 248 points in a club rugby season hard to beat

By M Naushad Amit
Former Sri Lanka and Police Sports Club rugby skipper Nizam Jamaldeen who became a top rugby referee of the country feels, the record he established 17 years back by scoring 248 points in a single season will remain for quite a long time to come. This he said after the conclusion of the 2009 club rugby season where according to one-time Sri Lanka’s most dependable place kicker, the present quality of rugby and the spirit in which the game is played are causes for the major drop in spectator interest in the recent years.

“During our days the game was played with passion and high spirit whereas nowadays players are more interested in commercial benefits. Though the present players are more concerned on the money-making part, they are not doing enough to improve their talent. Star players might not have to race with others in fighting for their places in leading rugby clubs in the country but it has certainly ruined the better options of the naturally talented ones. Considering these facts I feel that my record will stand for a long time but still records are meant to be broken,” the multi-faceted rugby veteran said.

Jamaldeen who represented Isipathana, CR & FC, Police SC and Sri Lanka as a fly half in a glittering rugby career that spanned almost two decades holds the rare triumph of representing the country at five Rugby Asiads, four Dubai 7s, three Hong Kong 7s, a World Cup 7s in Italy and a few more Sevens tournaments in Singapore, Malaysia and China. However the former star player turned rugby referee and coach feels the level of playing during the 1990s and the present is vastly different.

“Those were the days when spectators were still in the queue buying tickets to watch us play while the game had reached the half-time mark. The crowd support was immense and that was our energy on the field. Today you can easily do a head count within minutes as a game progresses. Things are going the wrong way for rugby in Sri Lanka,” Jamaldeen added.

Jamaldeen, now a Chief Inspector of Police, has officiated in leading school and club tournaments conducted by the SLRFU on an annual basis. In addition he has officiated in three Rugby Asiads, most of the Hong Kong 7s and had the honour of being an official at the Rugby 7s World Cup held in Dubai recently.

In 1992, Jamaldeen broke the record held by the great Charles Wijesundara during the time that club rugby in Sri Lanka was at its peak. It was an era where foreign players from Fiji, England, Kenya and Samoa dominated the Sri Lanka club rugby scene. All clubs were equally good and with such hectic competition it was great to see Jamaldeen, a Sri Lankan, excelling to score 248 points including tries, conversions and penalties. However, in the recent past Kandy Sports Club’s Nalaka Weerakkody managed to score over 200 points in a single season in 2000, but Weerakkody still fell short of reaching Jamaldeen’s record.

“If there’s a will there’s always a way. It’s possible that my record could be broken. But with what is taking place in rugby now it really indicates that my record will stay for a while. In other words it reflects the standard of today’s rugby and the true passion of its players. It’s sad in a way to see these things happen to the sport you love most. Unless all who are involved in rugby leave aside their differences for the betterment of the sport, it will hardly progress beyond where it is now. I won’t be surprised if my record is broken when and if Sri Lanka’s rugby is brought to a fully developed condition. Then I will be the first person to be happy,” Jamaldeen said.


HSBC 5-club Stableford Golf awards today

The HSBC 5-Club Stableford Golf tournament began on Friday at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) and will conclude today (Sunday). The tournament organised for the fifteenth consecutive year, is open to HSBC Premier customers and to all members of the men’s section and ladies section of the Royal Colombo Golf Club with a valid handicap.

The first Stableford Golf tournament was sponsored by HSBC with a shot-gun start in 1994 and was subsequently changed to a 5-Club tournament in 1998. “This has been and will continue to be a flagship event of HSBC and we hope that our customers will enjoy the event and experience the traditional HSBC hospitality” said Sarit Wijeyekoon, Head of Personal Financial Services, HSBC.

The awards ceremony will be held today (Sunday) at the RCGC premises, and all category winners will be awarded fabulous prizes. The highlight of the event is the overall winner who will be hosted by the Bank to attend the HSBC Champions tournament, held once a year in November 2009.

This event will not only maintain the tournament’s format of bringing together tournament winners from all over the world, but will also include the best players from the International Federation’s Tours. World Number 1 Tiger Woods and defending champion Sergio Garcia have already confirmed their entries in the world-class field.
The HSBC Premier brand was launched in Sri Lanka in 2001. It consists of a unique package of products and services with a strong international dimension aimed at high-net-worth clients. This offering is now available in 43 countries worldwide.


17th Munchee Glucofit Schools Cricket Sixes

Six combined schools teams from outstation districts have confirmed their participation in the 17th Munchee Glucofit Cricket Sixes where a total number of 36 teams will compete for the championship which will be staged on October 16, 17 and 18 at the Wesley College grounds, Campbell Park, Colombo. A press briefing to announce this year’s edition of the annual and only schools cricket sixes to run uninterrupted for the past 16 years was held last Tuesday (September 15) at the main hall of Wesley College. This tournament is conducted by the Old Wesleyites Sports Club and is also the only schools tournament of its kind sanctioned by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA).

According to the chairman of the organising committee, Navin de Silva, in addition to the 36 school teams 2 women’s teams will feature in an exhibition match in the tournament this year to add more glamour to the event. “We have done all what is possible to preserve the value of the tournament. For the first time this year a ‘free hit’ will be conceded to the batting side. This rule will apply when a side bowls a no-ball and in addition to the penalty of four runs, a free hit will be offered. This will surely add more competitiveness in the contest,” he said.
In addition to the two main awards which are the Munchee Glucofit Champions Trophy for the winner and the Old Wesleyites Trophy for the runners-up, a new trophy will be on offer to the best disciplined team on and off the field. Eight members each from the winning and runner-up teams will receive individual trophies.

Addressing the gathering Lakshman de Silva, the Group Managing Director of Ceylon Biscuits Limited stressed his concern of attracting spectators for a school Sixes tournament of this magnitude. “The only drawback I see about this tournament is the inability to draw schoolboys to come and witness the matches. In the past few years we have noticed this as sponsors and are very keen on seeing more spectators at the venue,” he expressed.

The defending champions, Prince of Wales’ could expect tough competition from other school teams participating as 36 teams will be selected on a first-come first-served basis. From the 36 teams, 9 teams will comprise under-19 cricketers who will play in a combined district team. These teams will represent the districts of Polonnaruwa, Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela, Badulla and Monaragala, Ampara and Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Hambantota and Vavuniya.

Two leading International schools have also been invited to take part this year. All teams will compete with branded coloured clothing provided by the sponsor. For the first time in history Cricinfo, the premier cricket website has come forward to provide live ball-by-ball updates of all the matches. The draw of the tournament will take place on September 29 at the Wesley College main hall. In addition the newly re-laid turf wicket at Campbell Park sponsored by Sri Lanka Cricket will be declared open on the final day of the tournament. In order to promote the tournament to new heights, a painting competition viz. ‘Munchee Glucofit Cricart’ will take place on the second and final days of the competition featuring young artists from Wesley College. [MNA]


Liverpool and Standard Chartered announce sponsorship deal

Liverpool FC and Standard Chartered Bank announced they had agreed a four-year deal for the bank to become the club’s main sponsor - the largest commercial agreement in Liverpool’s history. The agreement, which starts in July 2010 and runs through to the end of the 2013-14 season, will see the bank’s name and logo appear on the Liverpool shirt.

Liverpool FC is the most successful club in English football, enjoying a global following most recently evidenced in its highly successful pre-season tour of Singapore and Thailand. As official club sponsors, Standard Chartered will enjoy a major rights package which will provide the platform to significantly step up the Bank’s brand awareness across its core markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Standard Chartered PLC, listed on both London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, ranks among the top 25 companies in the FTSE-100 by market capitalisation. The bank has more than doubled its revenue and profits over the last five years and has performed consistently well, delivering record results throughout the recent financial crisis.

Liverpool FC is one of the world’s most famous football clubs. Founded in 1892, Liverpool is England’s most successful club, winning a record 18 League Titles, seven FA Cups, seven League Cups, five European Cups and the UEFA Cup on three occasions. Liverpool can also lay claim to 15 Charity Shield wins and three European Super Cup successes.


Bishop’s College scullers strike gold

The 25th Sri Lanka Rowing Nationals Regatta was rowed over a distance of 2000 metres on a four-lane course in the waters of Bolgoda which is more famous for sailing and power boat racing.
 Rowing in Bolgoda is much more demanding and challenging due to the choppy waters, cross winds, high and low tides. The skills of rowing are truly put to the test when you row on these waters.

The timely shift to Bolgoda for practices once a week over a 2000 metre course paid dividends at the recently concluded Bolgoda Regatta and The Asian Schools Rowing Association Regatta. Bishop’s College won gold in the Under 19 Double Sculls (2x) event at the ASRA.

The Bishop’s College girls, though few in number, were a well-disciplined, determined team striving to ‘take her home’ in the midst of all odds. Equipment was a drawback as Bishop’s had only a single scull. During the struggle for boat time in Bolgoda, a timely proposal by our brother school S. Thomas’ College on sharing of boats and oars during training time, heats and finals was accepted. This was a great relief for the team. Sri Lanka Air Force and Ananda College too lent their boats on request.

 During the final week of competition, Bishop’s College had the privilege of being proud owners of 4 sweep oars. This enhanced the morale of the team and probably made them go for the ‘gold’!
 The girls took part in the Under 16, Under 19 and Open category. They were the joint winners in the Under 16 category with Ladies College. Special mention must be made of the Sumanapala sisters Anukshi and Ashanti who won gold in the Under 16 Double Sculls (2x) and bronze in the Under 16 Fours and Open Fours events. In addition Anukshi also won a gold in the Under 16 Sculls (1x) and a bronze in the Open Doubles Sculls.

 In the Under 19 and Open events Bishop’s won one silver and two bronze medals respectively.
 A creditable performance of this nature would not have been possible if not for the support from the School, teacher-in-charge and most importantly the untiring efforts of wonderful parents who stood by all the kids, come what may. Mention must be made of the committed and dedicated coach who masterminded the ‘gold’ win.

Winners of the 25th Nationals

Under 16
Anukshi Sumanapala - gold medal.
Double Sculls: Anukshi Sumanapala/Ashanti Sumanapala - gold medal.
Fours: Shenali Seneviratne/Mariam Omar/Anukshi Sumanapala/Ashanti Sumanapala/Tulasi Elapata - bronze medal.

Under 19
Double Sculls:
Dimithri Thilakasundaram/Sonja Candappa - silver medal.
Fours: Thushini Ranasinghe/Dimithri Thilakasundaram/Sonja Candappa/Amashi de Mel/Janveeka Gunaratne - bronze medal.

Open Category
Dimithri Thilakasundaram - bronze medal.
Double Sculls: Dimithri Thilakasundaram/Anukshi Sumanapala - bronze medal.
Pairs: Thushini Ranasinghe/Amashi de Mel - silver medal.        
Fours: Shenali Seneviratne/Mariam Omar/Anukshi Sumanapala/Ashanti Sumanapala/Ronali Seneviratne - bronze medal


Taking rowing to the next level

The 25th Sri Lanka National Rowing Championships organised by the Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka was held from September 9 to 12. This year, for the first time in the history of the nationals, the races were rowed over a 2000 metres course at the Bolgoda Lake. This was a first step towards taking rowing in Sri Lanka to the next level where national and international level rowing will be encouraged and propagated.

This year’s nationals featured four main categories –Under 16, Under 19, Over 19 and Open - in which oarsmen and oarswomen from all rowing institutions participated. Mobitel gave their support towards rowing this year as well and was the main sponsor of this year’s Nationals.

The chief guest at the awards Ceremony was Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Secretary of the Ministry of Highways and Road Development and the former Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. The guest of honour was Suren Amarasekera – CEO, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel.


Junior Carrom Championship - 2009

The All Island Junior Carrom Championship - 2009 conducted by the Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka will commence on October10.  Entries close on September 20 and the draw will be held tomorrow 21.  The events will be boys/girls singles for under 21, 19, 17, 15 and 13 and doubles only for boys/girls under 17 and 21.  For further details contact the General Secretary, Langley Mathiasz on telephone No.2725896 or 5511530.


Nawaloka Hospital official medical partner for Lankan cricket team

Nawaloka Hospital was appointed as the official medical partner for the Sri Lanka cricket team. Picture shows the agreement being handed over by Nawaloka Hospital PLC head of marketing Amal Gajamange to Sri Lanka Cricket Tour organising chairman AG Weerasinghe. TOC secretary Rochana Jayawardene and Nawaloka Hospital marketing manager Sidath Kirella are also present