The healthy and unhealthy state of Kandy sport | Sunday Observer

The healthy and unhealthy state of Kandy sport

Sports in Kandy play a significant role in the lives of the folks living here, representing all races in the island. Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils, Burghers Malays and foreigners.

At one time all sports were popular, but not today. In the early days football, volleyball and cricket were very popular. In the last six months, let’s take a look at how sports have fared in Kandy.

Rugby: Today the oval ball sport is top of the pops in the country and undoubtedly the most popular sport in Kandy. Kandy Sports Club were winners of the inter league and the Sevens tournament. In the school tournament the Plate was won by Kingswood College, together with Trinity College, St. Anthony’s College, Vidyartha College and Dhramaraja College have qualified to play in the upper division next season.

Football: Overall Kandy football is dead and virtually buried and a few days back the controlling body the FFSL organized a tournament ignoring the Kandy FL. In the good old days it was tagged the common man’s game drawing huge crowds. In the last couple of years football has gone ‘off side’ and most of the players are losing interest as there is no recognition nor any support or encouragement to take this game forward. At club level it is dead, the 2017, 2018 and 2019 AGMs are yet to be held.

Cricket: At school level the sport continues to take pride of place. Once again the KDCA is going all-out to bring back cricket to its former position at club level. Here again the drawback has been the lack of resources and facilities and poor organizing by the governing body.

Hockey: At school level hockey is quite healthy and successful with most of the schools, especially girls’ schools dominating the game. The Kandy District Hockey Association is trying to do their best to do a good job but the lack of proper grounds are holding them back.

Cue sport: Billiards and snooker have taken a nosedive with hardly any activity. It was a sport which was once dominated by Kandy clubs. Only the Mahanuwara YMBA keeps the sport going. Other clubs like Kandy Club, Kandy Garden Club and Kandy YMMA have forgotten to switch on the table lights.

Basketball: Has got back on court and recently the schools had a tournament conducted by the Education Department. It was in 1964 that basketball was introduced to Kandy. The first ever tournament in Kandy was held in 1965 for men and women.

Table tennis: This game was very popular. There is some hope as there are many schools and clubs who are capable of doing well. The late DH de Silva when he was Municipal Commissioner gave good support and promoted the game in the best way. Once again some schools are promoting the game.

Badminton: There is somewhat a lack of interest in this sport. Something must be done to uplift the game. There are not many coaches and should the schools take to the sport the game can pick up.

Lawn tennis: One-time it was a very popular sport in Kandy at the Kandy Lawn Cub, Kandy Garden Club, University of Peradeniya and Kandy Police. Schools like Trinity, Girls High School and Hillwood were involved in a big way. A big hand should go to former Municipal Commissioner and All Ceylon cricketer the late DH de Silva who was a live wire and produced some top players using the Garden Club courts. But sad to say this sport has more or less lost its identity.

Swimming: Schools are doing well. They have proved it by winning many meets. Trinity, Mahamaya and Hillwood have excelled in the water sport.

Boxing: At one time king makers of the sport were Trinity College and later St. Sylvester’s College followed by Peradeniya MMV and Sarasavi Uyana. Schools like Vidyartha, Kingswood and Dharmaraja are doing well.

Wrestling: This sport was at its best at club level especially Kandy YMCA that promoted it. It is good to see Walala A Ratnayake Central doing well.

Iron sport: Kandy YMCA gave a big hand for iron sport (body building and weightlifting) and helped several iron sportsmen to do well and bring honor to the country. So was the Mahanuwara YMBA, Today some of the schools are also involved in the sport.

Baseball: This sport is catching up fast and some of the schools are keen to promote and the controlling body has promised to give their support.

Golf: A sport which is popular mainly due to the promotion given by the golf club in Digana. They have tournaments very often and are well supported with sponsorships.

Volleyball: The sport is 100 years old in the country and 77 years old in Kandy. It is the national sport and at a certain time volleyball was a popular game. Today the much needed support is not there for the game.

Netball: Schools in Kandy are doing well in this sport and have taken part in most of the tournaments organized by the governing body. It was Kandy Girls High School who started the sport first followed by Hillwood College. All girls school take the sport seriously.

Athletics: All schools in Kandy have athletics in their curriculum and are doing very well in this field. At present all schools, boys and girls are performing well.

Cycling: This sport has been popular in Kandy and there have been races on many occasions. For it to be competitive there has to be sponsorship which is lacking.

Chess: It has been popular at schools for quite a long period. Schools are doing extremely well and produced good players.

Carom: A popular sport in Kandy mostly played by the government departments. This is a recreation sport. Kandy’s Carom Association gives a big hand to promote it.

Kabbadi too is catching up fast.