Schoolboys provide clean sport while country plays dirty games | Sunday Observer

Schoolboys provide clean sport while country plays dirty games

27 August, 2023
The College rugby teams of Isipathana (right) and St. Peter’s take pride in showcasing themselves and their schools while asking not a penny (Pix courtesy thePapare)

While pompous officials running Sri Lanka sports continue to indulge in their hollow and superficial gibberish, schoolboys by their on-field stardom are drawing people by the thousands, some of them willing to even pay Rs 10,000 for a ticket just to watch them play:

Sri Lanka is a land of extreme contrasts when it comes to sports where its administrators are politically correct doing sweet nothing and look like clowns in front of the media while schoolboys leave aside their classrooms to come out as the perfect finished products irresistible to followers some of whom are even willing to pay much more just to watch them play.

While officials running cricket, rugby, football and other sports that are showcased at the Olympics have nothing to brag about other than scrounge and cling on to their positions until death does them apart, schoolboys come along play their part and move on taking nothing away in their pockets but leaving undying memories to last a generation.

The difference was proved beyond doubt last week, August 19 to be precise, when passionate boys from St. Peter's College and Isipathana College contested what was to be an occasion that everyone was talking about as the match of the season or the decider in the inter school league rugby championship and few in the business knew the sacrifices they made to come out as finished products.

Expecting a cauldron given the importance of the high profile contest, a government took no chances and deployed its troops of Para military police in full battle gear with some units armed with water cannons as crowd control measures, in no way meant to undermine sports or its true followers.

Inside the venue, the fanfare dished out was what ticket holders and gate crashers expected, high drama, tension that culminated in one of the most exciting finishes the country has witnessed.

Analysts contend that sports followers in the country are sick and tired of listening to the rubbish that flows out from the mouths of administrators, some of whom are one foot in the grave, and instead prefer to spend their time and money watching schoolboys leave aside their books for balls to win honour and laurels and in the process light up an otherwise dull and boring Sri Lankan sports arena.

What schoolboys have done and continue to do for sports in the island will never be matched by corrupt officials running spots in the country with absolute impunity backed by their bought-over cronies in the media.

Interestingly the manner in which both the Peterites and Isipathana and all other schools that contested the 14-team League championship dished out came at a time rogue elements destroyed rugby and football at international level.

The bright side is that schoolboys and school girls will continue to showcase clean, attractive sport and on the murky side national athletes will be compelled to keep their politically inclined keepers afloat while cricket will provide the ideal platform for shady officials who abuse their positions for self gain that has earned them the wrath of the people.