At a media brief held at the Ramada Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) announced an Under 16 Boy’s 10-A-Side tournament with the participation of 30 schools’ Rugby teams covering seven provinces of the island. It will be organized by the Central Province Rugby Football Union (CPRFU) and powered by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR).
The tournament is scheduled to be held on the 25th & 26th of February at Trinity College Rugby Stadium in Pallekele, and will be the first competition organized for the Under 16 age category since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nippon Paint has come on board as the title sponsor of the competition at the request of Sri Lanka Rugby.
President of the Central Province Rugby Football Union Kavinda Jayasena, who spearheads the organizing committee of the competition, expressed his gratitude to SLR and Nippon Paint for coming forward to support CPRFU in organizing this competition, and noted the importance of conducting the competition with no Rugby having been played in the Under 16 age group for over three years.
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Rtd. Group Captain Nalin De Silva, Chairman SLR Tournament Committee, added that the children are the backbone of any nation, and that getting involved in any sport helps children learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings in a healthy way. He went on to note that a similar tournament was conducted by the School’s Rugby Association in previous years, but they have been made to understand that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and financial constraints, they have requested the assistance of the President of SLR Rizly Illyas to assist with the competition.
President of SLR Rizly Illyas thanked the sponsors for coming forward to sponsor the competition, and mentioned that this tournament will also work as a selection tournament for the Under 18 Rugby 7s team that will participate in the Youth Commonwealth Games, which is scheduled to be held later this year in Trinidad and Tobago.
Schools set to take part in the tournament are;
Western Province – Royal College, St. Peter’s College, Isipathana College, St Joseph’s College, S. Thomas’ College, Science College, D.S Senanayake College, Zahira College, Wesley College, Piliyandala Central College, Mahanama College, Thurstan College
Central Province – Kingswood College, Trinity College, St> Anthony’s College, Dharmaraja College, St. Sylvester’s College, Sri Sumangala College, Sri Rahula College, Vidyartha College, Sarasavi Uyana MMV, Nugawela Central College, St. Thoma’s- Matale
Southern Province – Richmond College, St. Aloysius College
Sabaragamuwa Province – Kegalle Central College
Wayamba Province – Maliyadeva College
Uva Province – S. Thomas’ Bandarawela, Dharmadhutha MMV
North Central Province – Anuradhapura Central College