Wednesday, February 10, 2010
ISIPATHANA TO GIVE PRIORITY TO STUDIES OVER 7,S
Likely to be one of the top teams skipping the Western Province Rugby sevens along with S.Thomas’
Isipathana College rugby players are likely to skip the upcoming inter-school seven-a-side rugby tournaments which will initially begin with the Western Province Schools Rugby Sevens, which is scheduled for February 14 (Sunday). Isipathana College Principal Punyadasa Kuruppu, who is also the President of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association, told The Island that the school’s rugby players would be undergoing a special education programme and hence were unlikely to contest the inter-school rugby sevens tournaments. "The school’s rugby players have in the past dedicated all their energies to playing rugby. This has contributed to a situation where they have failed to obtain the desired results in education. The school intends to change this trend and make students take more interest in their studies," said Kuruppu when contacted. Kuruppu also pointed out that the education of schools kids is somewhat affected with the conducting of elections. "We have planned for two elections this year and this means studies in schools will be temporarily stopped during elections. The special education programmes that have been lined up are aimed at boosting the education of students, taking into account the number of school days they’d lose due to various reasons," he said. Kuruppu said that these special education programmes would mainly target the students sitting for the Ordinary Level Examination. According to Kuruppu the all island schools rugby sevens tournament has been scheduled for February 20 and 21 in Colombo. However, he said that the dates of the all island tournament would be confirmed only on February 10 (Wednesday). It is also reliably understood that a leading rugby playing school, S.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinai, is unlikely to make the line-up of teams at this week’s Western Province Schools Rugby Sevens. According to Kuruppu, schools that don’t contest the Western Province rugby tournament can still take part in the all island tournament. Though western province schools would benefit from the provincial sevens tournament that’s scheduled for this week, the schools in the Central Province would not have the luxury of playing in a limb-losener, prior to the main tournament. Kingswood College coach Nilufer Ibrahim said that his school would be at a disadvantage by being forced to walk straight into the all-island tournament without playing in a provincial tournament. "There have been so many opinions voiced in having a rugby sevens tournament for Central Province schools, but nothing has come out of them," he said. Kingswood College won last year’s all island schools sevens by beating home town rivals Trinity 29-17 in the Cup Championship final. Kingswood would face stiff resistance from Trinity again this season who have confirmed their participation in the schools sevens tournament. Another school which is the dark horse to win the schools sevens is St. Peter’s which is raring to make up for a mediocre season, last year. The Peterites, however, made rugby fans sit-up and take notice by winning the School segment of the Carlton Sevens, held barely two months ago.