(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Ritzbury Sir John Tarbat Junior Schools Athletic Championship 2023 reached its finale on November 5th at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Proudly sponsored by Ritzbury, Sri Lanka’s Number 01 chocolate brand of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), this event marks another historic chapter in the annals of Sri Lanka’s school-level sports heritage.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association (SLSAA), the championship saw a remarkable turnout of 2,000 young athletes, competing across various age groups ranging from under 12 to under 15. Each participant earned their place through preliminary rounds held in Beliatta, Kandy, Bandaragama, and Jaffna, showcasing their incredible talents and determination. It is noteworthy that the preliminary events saw the participation of 15,000 athletes.
In terms of the winners of the Championship, Royal College Colombo with 44 points emerged winners of the boy’s category while Trinity College Kandy emerged as the runner up with 42.5 points. In the girl’s category, Ave Maria Convent Negombo won with 83 points and Lyceum Wattala secured runner up with 57 points. S Pribasith of St Thomas Prep College, High Jump 1.90m U15 (827 points) adjudged the best male athlete while c of Lyceum Wattala, Long Jump 5.64m (921 points) received the award for best female athlete.
Speaking at the event, CBL Foods International Marketing General Manager Nilupul De Silva said: “We are elated to have supported the Sir John Tarbat Schools Athletic Championship for more than a decade, with the objective of uplifting athletics at school level. Every year, we see even more enthusiasm and a growing talent pool of the best young athletes. In addition, as of previous years, we are delighted to give a helping hand to a group of promising school athletes nominated by the SLSAA with the hope of producing national-level athletes.”
SLSAA President Dr.Kusala Fernando said: “Ritzbury, as the sole sponsor of the Sir John Tarbat Schools Athletic Championship, has been influential in uplifting athletics at the school level. Ritzbury’s continuous commitment, despite many challenges, to supporting thousands of budding athletes to showcase their talent through this event should be commendable. We are also grateful to see more participation from the North and East, thanks to Ritzbury.
The brand took an inspiring step by arranging a preliminary round at the Dorreiuppa Stadium in Jaffna just last month. This initiative aimed to send a powerful message of empowerment, diversity, and inclusivity throughout Sri Lanka. Over 1,000 students from the North and East regions took part, reflecting Ritzbury’s commitment to uplift sportsmanship in the North and East of Sri Lanka, two provinces that have shown minimal participation in the sporting arena.
The highlight of this year’s event was the awarding of sports scholarships to deserving high performing young athletes. Year after year, Ritzbury selects 15 top athletes and awards them with scholarships in an effort to shine a global spotlight on their skills. Accordingly, K.L. AyomalAkalanka (Ambagamuwa M.M.V), G.L. Arthavidu (D.S. Senanayaka V), R.P. NilupulPehesara (Vijitha M.M.V), M.K.N. Wickramasinghe (Wickramabahu N.S. Gampola), S. HanshikaMunasinghe (Ambagamuwa M.M.V), ThushenMahindrarathna (Maris Stella C), G.W. JathyaKirulu (Mahinda C), D. PradeepaniWickkramasighe (WickramabahuN.S.Gampola), T. Sandhil (St.Peter’s C.- Bambalapitiya), K.T. Nuhansha (Matara M.M.V), O.Kodikara (St.Lawrence’s C) and six students from LIS Wattala; S.Hanshaka, J.Wijethunga, S.Kularathna, S. Sadithya, received the sought-after scholarships as well.