It was a power-packed day in the pool when 30 teams from U9, U11, U13, U15 and +25 Masters competed for the coveted RCUAC Challenge Shield 2024 in its 3rd consecutive year.
Organized by the Royal College Union Aquatics Club, the largest junior Water Polo Tournament saw the participation of 400 athletes. Organized with the aim of developing the sport among younger players over the next 5-10 years, the tournament has been well-accepted by clubs and schools alike.
The awards ceremony was held under the patronage of Hon. Rohana Dissanayake, State Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs as Chief Guest and Sanath Jayasuriya, Consultant, High Performance Center, Sri Lanka Cricket as Guest of Honour.
The Tournament Director for the Challenge Shield was Ulfath Uwais and his team comprising Kavindra Samaraweera, Musharraf Uwais, Mishan Kottearachchi, Lakindu Weerasinghe, Akindu Samaraweera, Randa Ranatunga & Reza Ghany.
The coveted U15 Boys championship was won by the hosts Royal College while the U15 Girls championship went to Bishop’s College. Sulaiman Shihar of Royal College and Sinali Rathnayake of Bishop’s College were adjudged the Best Players of the Tournament.
The introduction of an U9 category for the first time in Sri Lanka was a significant highlight of the tournament where Nalanda College beat Royal College 14-04 in the Boys category while Visakha Vidyalaya won the Girls category on a round robin basis.
The U11 category was also won by Nalanda College beating Royal College 10-09 in a close game while Ladies College beat Bishop’s College in a 14-04 final of the Girls category.
Royal emerged victorious in the U13 Boys category beating arch rivals S. Thomas’ College 20- 04 while another round robin basis saw Visakha Vidyalaya walk away with the U13 Girls titles.
The last event for the day was the Royal College Masters Team vs. S. Thomas’ College Masters Team. The game was played to relive great memories and rekindle old friendships that have many a tale and story behind it. The love of the game surely prevailed until this last game.
The schools and clubs participating were Bishops College, Visaka Vidyalaya, Ladies College, Museus College, Colombo International School, S. Thomas’ College, Nalanda College, Thurstan College, Royal College, RCUAC, OTSC.
The sponsors supporting the event were Silver Sponsors SLIIT, Curtin Colombo, and the Rangers – Royal College Batch of 2003. The co-sponsors in their respective categories were Emerging Media, TNL 101.8, Quadrangle, The Papare, Fonterra, Bairaha, Foodies, John Keells Office Automation, Ceylon Cold Stores, Jetwing Hotels and Nehemiah Consultants.