Wednesday, 28 May 2003  
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Opening of Kingswood Sports Complex today

by S. M. Jiffrey Abdeen - Kandy Sports Correspondent

The dream of every Kingswoodian will come true today - Wednesday - May 28th when the first stage of the Sports Complex of Kingswood College covering the playing fields will be declared open by the Principal of the School Ranjith Chandrasekera at 4.30 p.m. This will be followed by the first leg of the L. E. Blaze Shield rugby match between Kingswood College and Wesley College.

Kingswood College grounds is known as the Randles Hill named after the donor of this spacious land an European gentleman named D. Randles on which its founder L. E. Blaze Built the College complex along Peradeniya Road. This was once known as the pint sized ground in which all its sports activities including the Big Match against Dharmaraja College was played. The ground was so small with a section of the grounds protruding into the playing field that a cover drive could earn you an effortless six. But later the school decided not to play its school cricket matches in this ground that was in the early seventies.

This will be the 18th Blaze Shield encounter and according to records the Kingswoodians hold sway in the series with 14 wins against 3 by Wesley. It is fitting that the new grounds at Randles Hill is being opened with a rugby match between the two sister schools.

The work on the development and expansion of the Randles Hill grounds was initiated in 1990 when Captain R. B. Rambukwella was the Principal of Kingswood College and a grandiose plan was drawn for an up-to-date Sports Complex but the expected funds did not come and the work dragged on and there was also legal proceedings on the acquisition of the adjoining paddy fields which belonged to the school. But the present Principal Ranjith Chandrasekera took an immense interest in the grounds and collected the required Rs. 7 million for the initial stage through various fund raising projects and towards he has had the support of the Kingswood College Union. Old Kingswoodians Sports Club, Kingswood's Rugby Wing "Ruck 'N Maul'", parents and the old boys.

The Principal of Kingswood College Ranjith Chandrasekara told the Daily News that special mention must be made of the guidance and assistance given by the former Minister of Sports and Present Minister of Agriculture S. B. Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries Lankshman Kiriella and UNP Parliamentarian Earl Gunasekera, a distinguished old boy of the school who has been a tower of strength to his Alma Mater in many ways.

Special Guest who is expected to grace today's occasion is Technical Advisor to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union and former National Rugby coach of Hongkong and China George Simpkin, and the Guests of Honour will be President of Kingswood College Union S. M. S. Samarakoon, President of Old Kingswoodians Sports Club Tissa Wijeratne, President of Kingswood's Rugby Wing Ruck and Maul Gamini Swaris.

Kingswood College will be captained this year by third year coloursman Dinesh Siriwimala and they have already shown their prowess by winning the Ceylinco Privilege Card Rugby Sevens for schools in the Central and Wayamba Provinces held last month.

This will be the fifth Rugby grounds in Kandy, the others being Nittawela, Pallekelle Rugby Stadium, Bogambara Stadium, University grounds, Peradeniya.

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