Colombo’s leading girl’s schools – Bishop’s College and Ladies College – battled it out at the Astro Turf Grounds on Saturday, the 03rd of October, at the 11th annual LC BC hockey encounter. Both schools valiantly strived to keep the flags of their alma maters flying high in both, the Under 17 and Under 19 matches.
On this occasion, Ladies College defeated Bishops College 1-0 in the Under 19 category, as well as the Under 17 game by the same margin, taking home the trophy for the overall Championship.
Although the Under 19 Bishops College team, Captained by Umaya Samaranayake dominated the play in most parts of the game, they lacked the finishing touches and failed to clinch the win. Stealing the show was the goal-keeper of Ladies College, Yevinka Ellepola, who displayed a high standard of goal keeping, making some truly spectacular saves.
The Ladies College team, Captained by Ruvini Yeshani secured the first goal 23 minutes into the first half of play, and Anushka Gunasekera’s goal saw Ladies lead the game at half time. The second half of play saw neither teams scoring, despite valiant efforts from both teams, along with support from the spectators.
The U-17 match victors were once again the team from Ladies College, Captained by Apsari Hendavitharana with a score of 1-0. The goal on this occasion was scored by Heshanthi Munasinha, despite the Bishops College team Captained by Amasha Saraph, putting up a good fight.
In the aftermath of the encounter, Mrs Eesha Speldewinde, Principal Ladies College, shared her thoughts. “This is a special encounter in our annual sports calendar. Apart from these ‘Big Matches’ being competitive, it provides an opportunity for the girls to foster friendships with children from different cultures and lifestyles, and build lasting friendships with each other.”
“When the encounter was initiated, we had only our Principal and Teacher in charge in attendance. Now these Sporting encounters are enjoyed, not only by the Old Girls and parents, but also by outsiders.”
“I am thrilled about winning the Overall championship trophy, but the message we always stress is that it’s not about winning. It’s about participation and experience. It’s about the invaluable lessons they learn out there.”
Mrs. Sharmila Gunatilleke, Principal Bishop’s College, had the following to say. “Bishop’s and Ladies College have always maintained a friendly rivalry. Though we lost after a close game, we saw girls playing competitively and with the right spirit. They enjoyed it immensely – not only the players, but children from the schools and their parents, the Old girls and well-wishers as well.”
“Whether they win or lose, I’m happy with the progress we have made, because ultimately, it’s about learning life’s lessons out there on the field. The staff and the coaches do a fabulous job, and must be commended as well.”
“Children learn integrity, honesty and team spirit through sports. More than winning silverware, it’s about learning life lessons and forming close ties with on-field rivals who become lifelong friends.”
The encounter between Colombo’s two leading girls’ schools was initiated, not so much to compete with one another, but to establish friendship and camaraderie; a thought echoed by both Principals. Despite the heavy competition between the players on the field, lasting friendships have been established amongst the players.