Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Blue & Gold 7s to dish out superlativ­e Hockey


It’s going to be the end of a drought and like the welcome rains that gives a heave of relief and happiness to the people, the hockey fraternity will be served with a peach of a tournament at a time when this beautiful game needs refreshing thoughts inspiring words and a desire to deliver.

Royal College Hockey Club (RCHC) together with Royal College comes out to deliver another fascinatin­g edition of the Blue and Gold Hockey Sevens sponsored by Singer Sri Lanka Limited on October 8 and 9 at the Royal College grounds, Reid Avenue Colombo 07, commencing at 7.30am on both days.

Undoubtedl­y it is the much awaited, much talked about all island schools hockey tournament which is meticulous- ly planned and profession­ally executed and have won the hearts of all schools’ hockey players who have taken part in this annual tournament.

The enthusiasm among the school hockey players towards this tournament had been enormous and this year too almost 60 teams are expected to take part in the boys and girls categories from all parts of the country. It will be a carnival atmosphere with many exciting events lined up in addition to the exhibition of great skills culminated with grit and spirit of young hockey players, who will come with all guns blazing to reach the top. This tournament is once again sponsored by Singer (Sri Lanka) Limited a household brand name in sports for the 14th consecutiv­e year.

The energetic members of the Royal College Hockey Club under the blessings and guidance of the B.A. Abeyratne, the Principal of the Royal College along with the assistance of the Royal College hockey fraternity who have left no stone unturned and carefully planned out every detail to give prominence to the participan­ts while upholding the great comradeshi­p among the players. An event of this magnitude which is a big boost to the game of hockey is rated as the most glamourous hockey event of the year, thus the Blue and Gold Hockey Sevens is bound to give all the thrills and excitement.

The last year’s champions Nalanda College will come all out to defend the title. They will face a stiff challenge from the hosts Royal College, the three times winners who are also the National Schools Games Champions this year. Other schools that are expected to be front runners are St. Thomas College, Matale, last year’s cup runner-up Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa and S. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia.

In the girls’ category, defending champions Seethadevi Balika Vidyalaya, Kandy will be up against last year's runner-up Bishops College Colombo, this year’s National Schools Games Champions Janadhipat­hi Balika Vidyalaya, Nawala, and Sri Sumangala Balika Vidyalaya, Panadura.

The country’s top most umpires will officiate at this tournament which is played on three categories, the cup, plate and bowl with glittering trophies and medals on offer. Special awards for the most outstandin­g player of the tournament and the best goalkeeper from both boys and girls’ categories too would be awarded. All in all, a keen tussle is expected among the teams and an enjoyable two days of hockey is on the cards.

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