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Old 25-10-14, 10:47 AM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default 41st Regatta next Saturday on the Beira Lake:

41st Regatta next Saturday on the Beira Lake:
S.Thomas' leads 19 to Royal 15

Royal-Thomian Regatta... Sri Lanka's premier annual school rowing competition, the Royal-Thomian Regatta will be held on October 25 (Saturday) at the Colombo Rowing Club, Beira Lake.

S.Thomas’ College: Sandesh Bartlett (Vice Captain - S Thomas’ College), Anuradha Nadaraja (Captain - S Thomas’ College),Mr. Upali Gunasekara - Principal of Royal College, Colombo, Suren Goonewardene - Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Lanka, Prof. Indra de Soysa - Warden, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, Lahiru Herath (Captain - Royal College), Bilal Hassan (Vice Captain - Royal College).

One of the oldest inter-school regattas in Sri Lanka, this annual rowing competition between Royal College and S. Thomas' College commenced in 1962 as the Royal - Thomian Boat Race. It evolved into a regatta format in 1966 with two fours rowed by the two traditional rivals. While Royal College was led by L A W Sirisena, the Thomaian crew was led by C N Sirimanne.

While Royal College won the very first 'Boat Race' in 1962 by one boat length, S Thomas' College went on to gain their first win in 1964 - beating Royal by three boat lengths.

This traditional regatta currently comprises of 11 races - includes Sculls, Pairs and Fours. Out of the 40 Regattas rowed, S. Thomas' College has recorded 19 wins while Royal College won 15. 5 Regattas ended in drawn encounters, while the Regatta in 2006 was not held.

The races are rowed over a distance of 1,000 yards at the Colombo Rowing Club in Colombo.

This event is usually held on the last Saturday of the month of October at the Colombo Rowing Club. Regarded as the most prestigious boat race in Sri Lanka, the race is rowed for the Royal Thomian Boat Race Trophy.

The overall winner of the Regatta is awarded the T. Noel Fernando Memorial Trophy.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Suren Goonewardene, CEO/MD - Bharti Airtel Lanka stated, "As an organisation, Airtel Lanka is always looking for new ways of being relevant to our target group -creating life enriching moments and thereby enriching their lives. We believe that sports provide the ideal platform to achieve this.

We are indeed very pleased to partner the 41st annual Royal - Thomian regatta for the third consecutive year.

Being the oldest and most sought after rowing competition in the country, this historical event showcases excellent rowing talent from both schools.

We believe that sport is an arena which creates limitless opportunities to the youth of our society and that is exactly what Airtel wishes to deliver; limitless opportunities for the young to develop as successful future leaders, thus creating a progressive community in Sri Lanka."

S Thomas' College was the third school in Sri Lanka to embrace the sport of rowing and commenced their own rowing programme during the latter part of 1961.

The College then went on to compete in the boat race with their traditional rivals Royal College in 1962. The College's first captain was C.N. Sirimanne. "Airtel Lanka has partnered with S. Thomas' College in numerous occasions and this has been a bastion in developing sports at College level.

The Royal-Thomian regatta, which is one of the most prestigious sporting events in the schools calendar is an event that is enthusiastically anticipated by both the present and old boys of both schools.

As the Royal - Thomian tradition continues in yet another sporting event, over 41 years of continuous friendship, bonding and skillful rowing is celebrated beyond the mere competition amongst the two schools" said Prof. Indra de Soysa, Warden, S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia.

"As the reigning champions, S. Thomas' College is anticipating the 41st regatta with much enthusiasm" he further added.

"The Royal - Thomian Regatta marks an important juncture this year as we meet yet again at the 41st regatta, making it the oldest and longest standing rowing competition here in Sri Lanka" stated Mr. Upali Gunasekara, the Principal of Royal College, Colombo. "Being the first school to take up rowing in Sri Lanka, at Royal College we feel it is vital that this tradition continues in the true Royal spirit. We are grateful to have Airtel Lanka on board as the sponsor for Royal College rowing for a period of three years.

We look forward to a rewarding involvement with them in fostering our sports to better heights."

Royal College, Colombo was the first school in Sri Lanka to start its own rowing programme in 1953 with the formation of the Royal College Rowing Squad. The College's first captain was Alavi Mohamed.

Their first regatta was rowed on the Beira Lake against an All European 'B' team of the Colombo Rowing Club in which the Royalists won the coxed fours. Soon after the Royalist went on to race with yet another All European team from Madras Boat Club at which they won. The first ever colours for rowing was then awarded.

Airtel Lanka made its foray into the field of sports sponsorships in the year 2012 through its associations with Manchester United and Football, Rugby, Tennis, Golf, Rowing, Cricket and Basketball. The company has been involved in the development of sports, as evidenced by its various sponsorships at school level, district level and island wide.

While Airtel Lanka continues to be involved beyond just a mere investment with all its sports sponsorships stakeholders, it is committed to developing local talent to international standards, thus fostering school sports to new heights as well as contributing actively towards the positive development of youth in Sri Lanka.
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