|Pathana to end season with a bang
M Naushad Amit
Rugby and Isipathana are synonymous. The tradition
of rugby is such at Isipathana College, Colombo who
celebrated the 50th anniversary of rugby recently
and, coincidentally produced their 50th player to
the national team. Though the rugby crazy school
continues producing players to the top level year
after year, Isipathana has been unsuccessful in
meeting the challenges and maintaining their
dominance during the recent times.
With some schools going a few steps ahead of them
in the league, Isipathana rugby has been stagnant
remaining midway in the top group for a few years.
But present rugby coach Shamly Nawaz was of the view
that Isipathana has performed much better than what
their position on paper indicates.
“Though we ended up at No.5 last year and currently
remain at No.6 in the Division I ‘A’ points table it
does not mean that the standard of our rugby has
gone down. It’s just that we are going through a bad
period which can be fixed with a bit of extra
commitment,” Nawaz said.
Nawaz’s sensible statement comes as a true
assessment of a young rugby outfit that made a
remarkable comeback to their league rugby campaign
after suffering two straight defeats. In the first
week, Isipathana was at the receiving end against
St. Peter’s after losing the curtain-raiser of this
year’s President’s Trophy Singer Schools Rugby
League by 27-8 which was followed by a close 22-15
defeat against Kingswood, both at their home turf in
“We came out with lots of hope against St.
Peter’s as it was a vital game for both teams.
Though we managed to match up with them on skill
levels and performance we completely failed against
their power. We fixed our failures from the first
game and went flat out against Kingswood but a last
minute mishap took the game away from us though we
led right through the match.”
Isipathana recorded their first win of the season
against S. Thomas’ by 30-24 and continued their
success against Wesley by 35-15 and against St.
Anthony’s by a narrow 16-15 last week. Compared with
their failed start this season, Isipathana has done
a lot of homework and amendments to make others feel
their presence in the competition.
“The boys worked perfectly as a team during the
recent 3 games to end up winners. But in a way the
initial couple of defeats have had a major impact on
the team’s present approach to the game. We always
played our matches with great and serious passion.
But disappointments always lead to success and
that’s what has motivated the team at present. I’m
really pleased the way the boys are performing at
the moment,” Nawaz who has been serving as coach
since 2008 added.
Isipathana may have never expected to be where
they are at the moment before kicking off their
campaign 6 weeks ago. The school which is well known
for its running rugby even skipped the 7s
tournaments this season to seriously focus on the
15s version of the game. They could have missed a
few pieces of silverware in 7s rugby, which they are
experts at, but Nawaz affirmed that skipping the
shorter version of the game really helped the team
focus on other phases though not obtaining a perfect
kick-start as expected.
“We lost only the services of 3 senior players
from last year’s team. Definitely our intention was
to top the league and win the championship but
instead we had to face the shocks. Isipathana never
went searching for slots in the league. We always
planned our campaign aiming at the top and it will
be the same in the future,” he further added.
Isipathana could be considered as unlucky in the
league in a way after having almost the entire team
from last year. Last year though the team improved
far better than the beginning the coach said he was
not all that happy the way Isipathana finished. But
in comparison they have improved a lot better this
year and are currently not aiming for places in the
group. According to the coach their main aim is to
win all the remaining matches in the league.
“On the field the players make their own
decisions unless it’s a vital call. Sometimes they
did not make the correct calls in the first two
games but now they have learned to be more watchful
and tactical. Isipathana always had good thinking
players and as the coach it’s my duty to help them
make the correct choices. After all it’s the 15
players who will have to move around and do the
right job for the team and the school. I think now
the players have improved a lot and are doing a
perfect job as expected. At Isipathana the players,
the coaching staff and all those who are involved in
rugby work together like a family and a very good
ending to the season will make us all happy,” Nawaz
said in praise of the teamwork displayed in Pathana
Isipathana rugby squad: Danushka Sooriyarachchi,
Prasad Madushanka, Nipuna Devinda, Mukshith
Kuthdoos, Sajith Suhaib, KR Dharmadasa, Deshan
Arachchige, Tharindu Siriwardana (Captain), Mohamed
Rizwan, Prasad Devinda, Shanaka Kumara, Kavinda
Wimalachandra, Akalanka Pramodha, Uresh Fonseka,
Malik Jumad, Eshana Wettasinghe, Manuka Siriwardena,
Udaya Kumar, Gayashan Maldeniya, Ganindu
Weerasinghe, Anjana de Costa, Prashan Attanayake,
Shenal Dias, Sumedha Udesiri, Umayanga
Sooriyabandara, Shenal Deelaka.
|SLT builds ties with people of
Lanka Telecom (SLT) Netball Association, in
collaboration with the Jaffna District Netball
Association held a friendly netball tournament
“Uthuru Mithuru Pipena Kekulu” at Jaffna Central
College grounds in order to develop ties with the
people of Jaffna.
Mrs. Rubini Vardalingam, the Additional
Government Agent of Jaffna was the Chief Guest at
the event, which was attended by several SLT
Officials, President and Members of Jaffna District
Netball Association and Mrs. Padma Baddewela,
Assistant Director of the Sports Ministry.
Two teams from SLT and seven schools from the
Jaffna District participated in this tournament
including Kokuvil Hindu College, Kokuvil; Sandilipai
Hindu College, Sandilipai; Ramanathan College,
Chunnakam; Sri Somaskantha College, Puttur; Union
College, Thellipalai; Methodist Girls’ High School,
Point Pedro and Vada Hindu Ladies College, Point
Pedro. Union College emerged overall winners of the
tournament, while Ramanathan College became the 1st
runner-up and Sandilipai Hindu College the 2nd
Especially after opening up of the North and
East, SLT has extended its fullest support to the
Government of Sri Lanka to upgrade and expand its
communication network to these areas, in order to
cater to the needs of these customers. This netball
tournament is another such endeavour to further
relationships with the people of the area.
|Jaffna’s 2nd TT Coaching Camp
The General Secretary, Table
Tennis Association of Sri Lanka and Joint Secretary,
Old Boys Association, St John’s College, Nugegoda
conducted the very first coaching camp for Jaffna’s
table tennis players on May 15.
Twenty children from St John’s College, Jaffna
participated at the coaching camp organised by Revd
N Jameson Gnanaponrajah, Principal of St John’s
On the same day at Central College Jaffna about
50 players participated from seven schools in a
coaching camp organised by J Mohan, Secretary,
Jaffna District Table Tennis Association. The
coaching camp was sponsored by the Old Boys
Association, St John’s College, Nugegoda.
The 2nd Jaffna district table tennis coaching camp
was held on May 28 at Central College, Jaffna. The
coaching camp was organised by J Mohan and three
coaches from the Table Tennis Association of Sri
Lanka Chandana Perera, General Secretary of TTASL,
Thushara Sampath, Secretary, Sabaragamuwa TTA and
Prabath Priyantha, Secretary, Ratnapura District TTA
conducted the coaching camp.
Yesterday the TTASL together with the Jaffna
District TTA conducted the inaugural table tennis
championship at Central College Jaffna where nearly
90 to 100 players participated.
After the first coaching camp was held in Jaffna
there was tremendous response from children in
Jaffna especially girls who had been confined to
their houses during the war. There have been several
requests from children to have more coaching camps
During the first coaching camp there were a lot of
talented and enthusiastic players which is a good
sign for the future. These children are due to
participate in an inter-club team championship in
August and the junior/ senior nationals at the end
14 games, 12 goals
the avalanche of goals that Edson Arantes do
Nascimento — Pelé — amassed in his career, with the
total figure disputed but believed to be 1,284 from
1,375 matches, he is perhaps most fondly remembered,
rather perversely, for two that he failed to score.
Remember the group game against England in the 1970
World Cup? When Pelé’s bludgeoning downward header
from a cross by Jairzinho drew a save from Gordon
Banks that still leaves the video viewer reeling in
And what about the semi-final against Uruguay? When
Pelé outrageously dummied Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, the
goalkeeper, ran around him on the “wrong side”,
retrieved the ball and semi-scuffed it narrowly wide
of the empty net.
The latter was dubbed the “greatest goal never
scored” but Pelé more than made up for it with a
thousand or so others that did count. Add to that
his entrancing dribbling, passing, pace and extreme
power generated from shots or headers and it is not
difficult to see why he was lauded as the real deal,
the full package.
Not bad for a lad who grew up in poverty in Bauru,
São Paulo, and who earned extra money by working in
teashops as a servant.
“I was born for soccer, just as Beethoven was
born for music,” he would utter, rather immodestly.
Most opponents, though, would concur. When Brazil
won the World Cup in 1970, beating Italy 4-1 in the
final, Tarcisio Burgnich, the Italy defender who had
tried in vain to mark Pelé, lamented: “I told myself
before the game, he’s made of skin and bones just
like everyone else — but I was wrong.”
Pelé set records at will. He played for Santos at
15, for Brazil at 16 and won his first World Cup, in
1958, at 17. At 17 years 239 days, he became the
youngest player to score in the finals; ten days
later, he became the youngest to play in a final. He
scored twice, in the 5-2 win over Sweden, and passed
out in excitement at the end.
Four World Cups, three gold medals. Pelé’s
contribution in 1962 may have been curtailed
prematurely by injury, and a rugged Portugal ended
Brazil’s involvement in 1966, but his “King of
Football” crown will endure for ever. - [London
(Next week : Franz Beckenbauer)
|FIFA World Cup mascot enjoys
tour with Emirates
DUBAI: Zakumi, the
Official Mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup enjoyed
an action-packed holiday in Dubai as he counts down
the last few days to the kick-off of the biggest
event on the world sporting calendar.
He flew in with Emirates and was welcomed to the
airline’s home base by cabin crew representing each
of the 32 nations taking part in the soccer
spectacle in South Africa.
The fun-loving leopard was in no mood to take a
break from football, though, and quickly rounded up
some of the crew for a kick-about at Dubai
He was then given the VIP treatment from South
African cabin crew members Cindy Speirs and Gillian
Scott who were in no doubt that he would have a ball
“Like Zakumi, all the football fans travelling with
Emirates are going to get a great welcome,” said
Cindy, from outside Durban, who believes Emirates’
multicultural crew will help make the journey to her
homeland extra special.
“The crew is made up of more than 120 different
nationalities and we are all really looking forward
to connecting the world with South Africa.”
Emirates – an Official Partner of the 2010 FIFA
World Cup – rolled out the red carpet for Zakumi and
whisked him on a whistle-stop tour of all Dubai’s
top spots before giving him a bird’s-eye view of the
emirate from the helipad of the iconic Burj Al Arab.
Zakumi quickly pounced back into action when he
found out he was going to be following in the
footsteps of Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Andre
Agassi by getting to play on the helipad of the Burj
Al Arab – the world’s most luxurious hotel.
Zakumi will be just one of many thousands of
football fans to travel with Emirates this summer
and captain Cliff Chetcuti is looking forward to
taking them to the party.
manager of St. Anthony’s rugby team
Abubucker Junaideen, a former Antonian sportsman,
was appointed as the manager of the St. Anthony’s
College, Katugastota rugby team, by the Old
Antonians’ Rugby Club headed by Rohan Daulagala.
Abu, as he is affectionately called by his
friends, does a lot for Antonian rugby and has been
supporting his school from his school days in the
He is determined to see that the best possible
facilities are made available to the rugby players
of the school. (Mariks)