New York, NY: The Inaugural Sri Lankan Schools Rugby Festival hosted by STC-NYC held at Pier 40, New York Saturday May 12th, 2012.
Seventy-five players in action, ten officials and many volunteers with over three hundred spectators were at Pier 40 in NYC for the Inaugural Sri Lankan Schools Rugby Festival hosted by STC-NYC on Saturday, May 12th, to make it a memorable event.
Attendance at the event was more than expected. “The STC-NYC tournament brought together a beautiful community of all ages from across the continent. As a spectator, I really enjoyed seeing the team spirit and pride in equal balance with sportsmanship. It was an ideal way for an outsider to experience the friendliness of Sri Lankan community.” said Amber Featherstone who lives in NYC.
“It was entertaining as well as encouraging to see the following players standout: Ananda’s Vidura Jayasooriya; ‘Evergreen’ Sudesh Abeysinghe and Manoj Premachandra of Isipathana College; Lion Shah Dole, Himesh Goonetileke and Cheruka Weerakoon from Trinity; ‘Wheels’ Reshan Cooke from St. Peters; Bilal Hassan and Kamal Ganewattage from Royal; Senaka Samarasinge and C [Chaka] Karalasingham from St. Josephs; Umanga Abeysekera, Lasantha Dahanaike, Gerhard Munaweera, Niluk Wikkramatillake, S. L. Ching and Kavinda Kumarage of S. Thomas’.” said Thikshan Arulampalam of the STC-NYC Rugby Organization Team.
Himesh Malcolm Goonetileke, the winning captain, said, “Great tournament - way to represent NY.”
Representing the main sponsor SriLankan Airlines, Senior Vice President for SriLankan Airlines GSA for USA, Canada & the Caribbean, Dillan Ariyawansa said, “It was a well-organized Rugby event and after party. Everything went well. Congrats to the entire team that has worked very hard. We will definitely support you all next year.”
“We had a blast and we are glad to hear we made a positive contribution to the event. We look forward to being a part of the next one and forming a greater partnership in the future.” said Christian Mayo of Play Rugby USA who led the referees and timekeepers together with the STC-NYC’s field Marshals.
Organizers say that the night was a success, with many of the players suggesting that the event should be continued annually. “Excellent job, can’t thank you enough for everything. By far the best tournament I have played in. It was so easy for me as a captain.” said Reshan Cooke of St. Peters College.
“Overall we were glad we achieved our objective to bring the community together. We thank all of our corporate and individual sponsors, donors, the teams and all of the supporters whose participation in this event will help STC-NYC fund various charitable projects in Sri Lankan Schools for education and amateur sports development.” said Lalith Theivanayagam, a STC-NYC Trustee. Photography by Jawad Jawak and Michael Lee.