Royal to conduct Western Province volleyball tournament | Sunday Observer

Royal to conduct Western Province volleyball tournament

The “Blue Gold and Blue Western Province Schools volleyball championship organised by the Royal College Union Volleyball Advisory and Management Committee will be held for the 13th time next month.

This much looked forward to event in the volleyball calendar will see schools from the Western Province coming up to contest.

Another volleyball triangular series comprising Royal, Ananda and Nalanda will also be conducted by the same committee. Further, Royal College is presently looking forward to introduce beach volleyball among all prominent boys and girls schools in Colombo.

Meanwhile, though Royal College has dominated a number of sports like cricket and rugby, very little is spoken or unheard of in the heights reached in volleyball.

It is interesting to note that, over the years Royal had produced some outstanding junior and senior national volleyball players as well as volleyball administrators.

Ashoka Wijenayaka is the first Royalist to reach national standards in volleyball. He was a member of Sri Lanka team at the ‘Indira Gandhi’ Gold Cup International Volleyball Championship held from August 5 to 12, 1986 in India. He represented the national junior team at the third Asian Junior Men’s Volleyball championship held in Thailand from October 3 to 29, 1986.

Subsequently, he was selected to the national senior men’s pool while still at Royal. In 1989, the Under-19 Royal volleyball team reached the semi-final of the Rupavahini All Island Schools championship thus opening a new leaf in school’s volleyball journey.

The power attacks of Royal captain Sudam Kaluarchchi was a treat to watch and was selected as the best player at the semi-finals.

In 1990, the Royal captain Thusitha de Costa was included in the junior national volleyball pool to take part in the 5th Asian Junior Volleyball Championship held in Thailand. He represented the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVF) President’s team against the visiting Ukraine State Volleyball team from USSR.

The vice captain of Royal team in 1994, Sudeera Thalagala represented the Combined Universities team at the first Asian University Volleyball Championship held from June 3 to 9, 1998 in Chinese Taipei.

Lasindu Wasanthapriya who captained Royal in 2012 represented the national Junior team that year at the 16th Asian Junior men’s championship held in Iran.

Lakshan Sudasinghe who captained Royal in 2017, represented the national Youth team at the Asian Youth Boys Championship held in Sri Lanka in 2016. Subsequently, he represented the Sri Lanka schools team which toured Thailand in 2016 and National Junior team at the 17th Asian Junior Men’s Championship held in Chinese Taipei in 2017.

From the three Royalists who were at the helm of the National Volleyball Federation, Charitha Ratwatte had the honour of presiding in the 1980s. The Charitha Ratwatte era is considered the golden era of Sri Lanka’s volleyball journey. He was president of the Federation from 1983 to 1986. Old Royalist and MP Dilan Perera functioned as the President of the Federation for ten years from 2005 to 2015 and contributed immensely towards uplifting the game in the country.

The current president of the Federation MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya was also the captain of the Royal and Kelaniya Campus volleyball teams.

Air Vice Marshal Rohan Pathirage and Group Captain Padman De Costa, who have captained Royal at volleyball have functioned as Vice Presidents of the Volleyball Federation.

De Costa is presently a member of the volleyball committee of the World Military Sports Council.

Lalith Pium Perera and Bandara Herath are also Royalists who have functioned as Vice Presidents at the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation.