Sports news from Kandy | Sunday Observer

Sports news from Kandy

Kandy needs another playground

Sports is so popular in Kandy at school level, today there is a necessity for another ground, especially for sports like cricket, rugger and hockey but football is badly neglected. Thanks, to the sport enthusiasts at Kandy Sports Club the Municipality has leased the ground at Nittawela for Kandy SC matches. Bogambara Stadium, which helped in most of the sports earlier, is badly in need of a face lift.

The Bogambara ground became a stadium in 1972 when the Municipal Commissioner together with sports promoters like the late E.L. Senanayake, E.W. Balasuriya, Noel Wimalasena, late M. Shanmugam, Superintendent of Police CP at that time, late Dr. C.D.L. Fernando, late A.M.I.N. Marikar, Shelton Ranaraja and the late M.E. Marikar got the Daily Mirror to sponsor it and with the fullest backing from E.W. Balasuriya who financed it to uplift it to a stadium.

In the early days before Asgiriya came into cricket this game was played at Bogambara. This was done, as most of the schools and clubs heavily depended on this stadium for their sports almost every day and the owners of the grounds the Municipal Council hired it at an affordable rate.

At present school cricketers are finding it difficult to play their matches due to unavailability of grounds, except Trinity, Dharmaraja, St. Anthony’s, rest of the schools Sri Sumangala, St. Sylvester’s, Vidyartha, Kingswood, Sri Rahula, Nugawela Central go out of Kandy for matches.

The Asgiriya Stadium owned by Trinity College helped cricket at one time. All the international matches were played there and they also allowed the schools and clubs when there are no school activities. The Antonian ground at Katugastota is used for their school cricket matches and for other sports training.

The Lake View ground owned by Dharmaraja College is redeveloped and they play their cricket matches. Kingswood College converted their pint sized grounds at Randles Hill to a big one, still to give a face lift for senior cricket. Vidyartha College owns a plot of land at Nittawela where they play junior matches and also train. In the early days they suffered a lot without a proper ground.

St. Sylvester’s has a miniature ground at Asgiriya but they have their practices and play matches elsewhere. Sri Sumangala has no grounds, but excel in sports. Madena Central, Madawela has a pint sized ground and expected a lot from a Minister to do it up for matches. But it still remains in its old form.

The University of Peradeniya has a separate ground for hockey, athletics, cricket, rugby, football and tennis. At one time the Peradeniya turf wicket was classified among the best in the country. All the grounds at Peradeniya need a big touch up. They help most of the schools to play cricket and if not for their help today, hockey would have been a forgotten sport.

The Police ground at one time was hired for all sports, but now the first preference is given to cricket and a little bit of hockey. But no football at all.

Following the lack of suitable grounds for cricket, hockey and football, the standards of these sports at club level have their limitation. Kandy has two Division I clubs with products from 9 cricket playing schools. But both the clubs are finding it difficult to practice and play matches. There are over 10 clubs playing in the Division III but the same story lies with them too. However, they get the support of Asgiriya, Katugastota, Police grounds and Peradeniya to play matches.

Today, poor weightlifters and body builders have no proper place for their training. Several gyms though available don’t have the necessary material for professionals. There are no proper volleyball, netball, basketball court for the poor sportsmen and women. Some schools have their own places.

Who will come forward to help in this matter. The Ministry of Sports CP now dissolved and Central Government should look into it and help the poor sportsmen and women. Today, the only place to do sports in Kandy is the Municipal Council miniature ground.