Monday, 21 October 2013 00:00
Extends sponsorship as Principal sponsor for the event for the second consecutive year
Sculls Royal College rowing for the next three years
Bharti Airtel Lanka, a leading telecommunication organisation in Sri Lanka, today announced its continued support as Principal Sponsor for the 40th Royal-Thomian Regatta. Airtel Lanka further announced that in addition to sponsoring the RC-STC regatta for the second consecutive year, the organisation will also propel Royal College rowing for the next three years.
One of the oldest inter-school regattas in Sri Lanka, this annual rowing competition between Royal College and St. Thomas’ College commenced in 1962 as the Royal-Thomian Boat Race. It evolved into a regatta format in 1966 and currently comprises of 11 races.
Out of the 39 Regattas rowed, St. Thomas’ College has recorded 18 wins while Royal College won 15. Five regattas ended in a draw, while the regatta in 2006 was not held. The races are rowed over a distance of 1000 yards at the Colombo Rowing Club. Regarded as the most prestigious boat race in Sri Lanka, the race is rowed for the Boat Race Trophy-Senior Fours.
The overall winner of the regatta is awarded the T. Noel Fernando Memorial Trophy.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Bharti Airtel Lanka CEO/MD Suren Goonewardene stated: “As an organisation, Airtel Lanka is always looking for new ways of being relevant to our target group, creating life enriching moments and thereby enriching their lives. We believe that sports provide the ideal platform to achieve this. We are indeed very pleased to partner the 40th annual Royal-Thomian regatta for the second year. Being the prestigious, oldest and most sought after rowing tournaments in the country, this historical event showcases excellent rowing talent from both schools. We believe that sport is an arena which creates limitless opportunities to the youth of our society and that is exactly what Airtel wishes to deliver; limitless opportunities for the young to develop as successful future leaders, thus creating a progressive community in Sri Lanka.”
“The Royal – Thomian Regatta marks an important juncture this year as we meet yet again at the 40th regatta, making it the oldest and longest standing rowing competition here in Sri Lanka,” stated Royal College, Colombo Principal Upali Gunasekara.
“Being the first school to take up rowing in Sri Lanka, at Royal College we feel it is vital that this tradition continues in the true Royal spirit. We are grateful to have Airtel Lanka on board as the sponsor for Royal College rowing for the next three year. We look forward to a rewarding involvement with them in fostering our sports to better heights.”
Royal College Colombo was the first school in Sri Lanka to start its own rowing program in 1953 with the formation of the Royal College Rowing squad. The College’s first captain was L.A.W. Sirisena.
Their first regatta was rowed at the Beira Lake against an all-European B team of the Colombo Rowing Club in which the Royalists won the coxed fours. Soon after the Royalist went on to race with yet another all European team from Madras Boat Club at which they won. The first ever colours for rowing was then awarded.
“Airtel Lanka has partnered with St. Thomas’ College on numerous occasions and this has been a bastion in developing sports at college level. The Royal-Thomian regatta, which is one of the most prestigious sporting events in the schools calendar is an event that is enthusiastically anticipated by both the present and old boys of both schools.
As the Royal-Thomian tradition continues in yet another sporting event, over 40 years of continuous friendship, bonding and skilful rowing is celebrated beyond the mere competition amongst the two schools,” said St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia Warden Prof. Indra de Soysa. “As the reigning champions, St. Thomas’ College is anticipating the 40th regatta with much enthusiasm” he further added.