Hockey revival in Kandy? | Sunday Observer

Hockey revival in Kandy?

Hockey is to be revived in Kandy with the best support of the present Committee headed by R. Maheswaran.

Hockey was first played in Kandy with a proud record of producing some of the top national hockey players and captains in men’s and women’s teams.

Hockey in Kandy dates far back as 1907, when the Indian Rajput Regiments occupied the Kandy Military Barracks. During that time St. Anthony’s College was housed at the present St. Sylvester’s College premises and they used the barracks square for all their sports activities.

The first ‘Bully Off’ in Kandy was in 1907 at the Bogambara grounds, when the Kandy Sports Club and the Industrial School Team met. The leaders of these two pioneer clubs were Europeans, S.R. Hamer and R. Sparks.

The Kandy SC team was packed with European planters, also met Dimbulla ACC and Dickoya MCC. Somewhere in 1910, a new club was formed, the Kandy Rovers.

Hockey ‘died’ in 1909 with the death of Charlie Hamilton, who was a little 10-year-old prodigy from SACK, who played as centre-half. This lionhearted midget had learned the game in the company of the Indian stalwarts. That year, a team from Kandy travelled down to Colombo to play against Colombo Municipal Council and Bloomfield. The first match was a 1-1 draw. The hero of these two games was Charlie Hamilton.

Hockey was revived again in the mid 1930s when P.T. Rajan stepped in to re-introduce the game to the schools and clubs. During the World War large number of clubs and schools including foreign teams played in Kandy. In 1944, the Kandy District Hockey Association conducted one of its finest tournaments where 14 teams participated in the league.

Kandy Rovers had the distinction of winning the league championship and also played that year in the Connor Cup and the Andriesz Shield tournaments.