Over 400 teams participated in the under 13, 15, 17 and under 19 categories at the Milo All Island Schools Netball Championships which concluded at Albert F. Pieris Stadium Wennappuwa which was a huge success said President of the Sri Lanka Schools Netball Association Nirodha Abeywickrama. Each age group best players received trophy from Milo while the winners and runners up received medals at this awards ceremony.
The teams from rural areas got a chance to compete at this three day tournament and they got good exposure I am happy to mention the worthy Milo Sponsorship which paved the way for the success of this event and the Education Minister Susil Premajayantha who was the final day Chief Guest was happy to see this young girls talent said Schools Netball Head.
We faced many challenges to complete this three day tournament as bad weather interrupted the event on all three days but the Schools Netball Federation Secretary Shiromi Kuruppu, Treasurer Shamen Withnawasam and my other team members worked hard throughout this event. Especially the Stadium Manager Tharanga Costa and Wennappuwa Urban Council Chairman Susantha Perera made all arrangements to give Indoor Stadium facilities and it really helped to conduct the matches during the rain period as well as night time. ON the second day Under 19 Netball matches were conducted until 10.30pm while all teams were highly competitive said Schools Netball President. Actually HFC Kurunegala won all four categories while Gattuwana Mahinda MV the division under 19 champion and runner up Katapathwehera MV under 17 runner up and under 13 runner up Maliyadeva Balika were all from Kurunegala.
We are happy to see rural schools like Gattuwana Mahinda MV, Ketapathwehera MV Kurunegala, Buwanekapura MMV Mathugama and Padeniya Sirinanda MV enter the B division finals and it was good to see this type of schools come up.
I met one team from Kandawihara MV and one team from Bibile, Monaragala which came to compete in this tournament and they had difficulties to continue this sport. Their players do not have sport shoes while parents mortgage their jewellery to earn money for their expenses. I have discussed this with Milo senior officials and they are very keen to support the rural schools who performed well at this tournament said Schools Netball President Nirodha Abeywickrama who is the Principal of Maliyadeva Balika Kurunegala.