SLSRFA adamant on stealing candy from the kids

Monday, 13 May 2024 01:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By a Special Correspondent

The newly elected committee of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) is persistent with its proposed changes to the League format, despite numerous requests and pleas extended by several Schools, and various distinguished personalities in the local Rugby circles. The primary reason for this persistence appears to be due to the heist that has been planned on the gate collections at the Super Round encounters!

 To elaborate, SLSRFA has decided to conduct the Super Round matches at neutral venues, and amass the funds coming out of ticket sales for its own use. In other words, the schools that qualify for the Super Round can no longer host their home games, or benefit from the ticket sales as it has done in the past. Seemingly, the SLSRFA deems and claims that this is the smartest move that they could come up with, to collect funds for its expenditures!

 The cream of the committee comprises of the following:

PRESIDENT: Kamal Ariyasinghe - Principal of Dharmaraja College, Kandy

GENERAL SECRETARY: D.W.M. Nimmana - Principal of Kiriporuwa Vidyalaya, Eheliyagoda

TREASURER: D.R.C. Dananjaya - Master in Charge of Ananda College, Colombo 10

 Funds are essential to develop and uplift the game at all Divisions, Segments and Districts, and no one is denying this. Individuals who have the drive and motivation to be innovative and think out-of-the-box should be elected to these positions of esteem, but definitely not some pencil pushers who do not wish to rise up from their warm and cozy Seats, except to be paraded on-stage. What one cannot comprehend is, as to why the above incompetent lot were elected, when there are plenty of people available and willing to use either their connections or charm to obtain the necessary sponsorships or funding required to serve the same objectives?

 Just because some Schools have abundant cash inflow doesn’t mean that anyone has any right to a piece of the Pie. These schools, along with their old boys, parents and well-wishers have toiled hard over decades to set up a streamlined and consistent cash flow to support their sports and extracurricular activities. Some schools rely on their season’s Rugby gate collections not only to fund Rugby, but their other sports as well. Pinching from the schools that are entitled to host the League games is rather shameful on the part of the Schools Rugby Association, although it has illusorily assumed the persona of Robin Hood.

 Leaving aside the financially stable Schools, what about the others? We have seen some schools pulling out from the Knockouts in the past, simply because they do not have the funds to go on. What if some of these schools qualify for the Super Round? Would the SLSRFA still proceed to play the historic role of the first ever Robin Hood that nicked the needy? It’s important to note that even some permanent ‘Segment A’ schools struggle to meet their nutrition supplement needs even as it is, and looking to wipe them clean is terribly immoral.

 On the flipside, the schools will never agree to part with what rightfully belongs to them, in exchange for a shot at a shiny Cup. Of course, the Cup is considered quite prestigious by some Schools, but they would first need the funds to play the game, and forfeiting the Super Round income for all of eternity is a certain deal breaker for them. In addition, some schools such as Royal, STC and Trinity would want to play their annual Trophy games as they have been played in the past, and they will never agree to play on neutral venues, because it has been a long-standing tradition.

 It has been a mind boggling period for the sane and the sensible, since the League format changes were announced; how can any person of repute with the right mind ever think of, or support such a scheme? Are the committee members committed to just a one-off heist, as it is quite apparent that they wouldn’t be favoured to serve in any school’s body in the foreseeable future? Are they so naïve and reckless to wreck whatever reputation that they have earned so far, for just a solitary year at Office? Do they even realise that nothing shall be accomplished, and they would end up being the ‘laughing stock’, if and when the schools withdraw from the League, sticking to their annual friendly fixtures? Many of these Schools have already had discussions internally to boycott the 2024 League, if the prolonged heavy downpour fails to tickle the thick Buffalo Hides.

 Not only that, the mainstream ‘Segment A’ Schools shall be hell-bent on returning to the SLSRFA’s hierarchy from next year onwards, in order to put an end to this unrealistic and partial administration by these incapable schools’ representatives. If that happens, then no one would be interested in developing or supporting Rugby of the lower Division schools. In case the above motives were true, then the advocates of the cause should immediately dissolve the present committee, and elect a competent set of personnel who could do the job as it has always been done, honourably!

 Sri Lanka Rugby has recently organized an excellent Division 1 Asia Rugby Championship tournament, by sourcing all the required funds using their own abilities, to a point where they could have open gates for all the Srilankan Rugby fans to flood-in and enjoy the games. SLSRFA’s stubbornness to go ahead with their League format change, despite many objections from all around, has undermined the untiring hard work put in by SLR.