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CANADA DAY: Sri Lanka Cricket Festival, an oustanding success

Posted on 01 July 2013 by admin


"Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved", Quote by Mattie Stepanek.

This is exactly what happened when two Thomians and a Royalist were entrusted with the task of organizing the Schools Cricket Festival. Ashok Senadeera and Trevor Fernando were the two Thomians and Rohan Jayasekara of RoyalCollege was the other link that formed the indefatigable trio that satrted the ball rolling towards organizing the Schools Cricket Festival for 2013. This trio rounded up Rati Selvaratnam of Trinity, Joy Perera of St.Anthony's and Upali Obeyesekere of the joint Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada and produced a splendid big-match extravaganza at the coveted Maple Leaf Cricket Club grounds at King City. In what is estimated as the biggest crowd for any Sri Lankan cricket event, just over 400 spectators found their to King City on a mild summer day to witness the Royal|Thomian; Trinity|Antonian and Josephian-Peterite Canadian version of the three big matches been worked out on three of the five available grounds at King City. Three big games in one facility, was a credible achievement for these organizers. For the Royalists|Thomians, 2013 was an important year as they had reached a milestone in their cricket encounter. It was the 25th anniverary cricket match!

Teamwork"TEAMWORK – coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success" – Henry Ford

Teamwork was the key word that could best describe the success of this event. The spectators were treated to Sri Lankan food vendors dishing out Buriyani, Lamprais packets, Hoppers (Egg and plain), rolls, cutlets and other savoury pastries were freely available at reasonable prices. The standard of cricket was of a very high standard with a few stars from all six schools turning out for their Alma Mater. Spectators were moving around all three cricket grounds taking in a bit of action from all three games. Finally there was one grand Raffle Draw that raked in around $1330 with our national airline Sri Lankan Airlines offering a complimentary air ticket to Sri Lanka from London, England as the 1st prize. The 2nd prize was a 2-night stay with breakfast at Hilton Hotel Toronto for two provided courtesy of the Hilton Hotel Toronto. The 3rd prize was a generous offer by Combined Freight Inc., to ocean ship two 5 Cu. Ft. boxes containing personal effects to Sri Lanka from Toronto. Mr.SachithananthanSuresan was the lucky winner of the air ticket while Benitode Silva won the Hilton Hotel complimentary offer. Rajive Gnanaratna won the 3rd prize offered by Combined Freight Inc.

The fellowship and camaraderie that was openly displayed by six different schools is testament that much can be achieved by working together towards a common purpose. Fellowship is described in the English dictionary as "a society of people sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc." This is exactly what happened. The event brought out the best in organizing talent and also from a cricket standpoint and proved that with right minds, people can work together to plan, organize and execute a community event of this magnitude. While the people of Sri Lanka are still working on resolving the differences arising from an irresponsible and rash acts perpetrated in 1983, the joint committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket Festival in Toronto succeeded in bringing together six schools to play on one ground and share common ground on the logistics and expenses that are normally required to stage such a big event. The five schools' associations that were involved in this great event were S.Thomas' College OBA, Royal College OBA, St.Anthony's College OBA, Trinity College OBA and the Joint Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada (JPAA Canada). Kudos to all, and next year will perhaps see Ananda|Nalanda and "Battle of the North" between Jaffna Central|St. John's occupying the 4th and 5th cricket grounds at Maple Leaf Cricket Club at King City.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – President, JPAA Canada

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