The Saints Quadrangular – Sportsmanship at its best
Posted by DARREL LUDOWYKE on March 05 2017 12:45:58
The Saints Quadrangular comprises of four leading Catholic schools of Sri Lanka, namely St. Anthony’s College Katugastota, established in 1854, St. Benedict’s College Kotahena, established in 1865, St. Joseph’s College Darley Road, established in 1896, and St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya, established in 1927. These four schools were first nurtured by the French, Irish, and Italian Missionaries, Benedictine Monks and the De LaSalle Brothers who arrived in Ceylon at that time to propagate Catholicism and eventually setup these institutions that stand tall and proud in the annals of education and sports in our country.
History tells us that the Quadrangular was mooted by the members of the Old Bens Sports Club. We are informed that the invitation was extended to many schools to participate, but it was St. Anthony’s, St Joseph’s and St. Peter’s that accepted the invitation. Since then it has grown in stature, competition, and friendship.
The Saints Quadrangular goes back to 50 years of friendship and camaraderie where each school takes turn in hosting the event by playing cricket, basketball, soccer and rugby between the present boys and old boys.
The four schools are known to have produced some of Sri Lanka’s best sporting talent, some of whom have gone on to perform at the national and international stage in the fields of cricket, rugby, soccer, basketball, and hockey. Here are four leading Catholic schools coming together in the spirit of sports to nurture talent to represent their respective alma maters and the country.
The “Quad” Athletics Meet
Athletics has always played a very important role in the history of the four schools and a great deal of prominence is given to nurture the sport and the track and field events. The four schools continue to make significant investments to athletics with coaches, techniques, nutrition, equipment, and scholarships for promising athletes. The Saints Athletics Quadrangular was revived after a lapse of almost 25 years by St. Peter’s College in 2015 during which year St Benedict’s College celebrated its sesquicentennial.
The four leading Saints schools together has a student force of 10,000 or more. Over 200 of their best athletes participated in the 2017 Saints Quadrangular on the 25th and 26th of February. The event was a spectacular show where the four leading schools, came together with the spirit of camaraderie to compete with one another at the St. Peter’s College grounds. The event was hosted by St. Benedict’s College with the active and energetic support of the management and leadership of the four schools and their old boys. Spirited and competitive athletes in the sprints, relay teams, jumping events and throwing events participated to show off their individual and team skills.
There were large numbers of old boys from the four schools cheering their athletes and participating in the old boy’s events. Rectors, Rev Fr Henry Bernard Wijetunge of St. Anthony’s College, Rev Fr Travis Gabriel of St Joseph’s College, Rev Fr Trevor Martin of St Peter’s College, and Rev Br Henry Dissanayake of St Benedict’s College graced the occasion. The Chief Guest of the event was Old Ben Luke De Silva, founder member of the Old Bens Alumni, New York, USA.
The highlight and the best performance of the meet, the Rev Br Alexander Cyrillus Memorial Challenge Trophy was awarded to Surinda Jayawickrama of St Joseph’s College for his U20, 100M sprint clocking 11.3sec.
The Mahesh Perera Challenge Trophy, Under 14 was awarded to St. Peter’s with 101 points followed by St Joseph’s with 89 points and St Benedict’s with 44 points.
The W.B Bogahalanda Memorial Challenge Trophy, Under 16 was awarded to St Benedict’s College with 122 points followed by St Joseph’s with 83 points and St Peter’s with 77 points.
The Hugh De Silva Challenge Trophy, Under 18 was awarded to St Benedict’s College with 172 points followed by St Peter’s with 81 points and St Anthony’s with 76 points.
The J. C. W Obeysekere Memorial Challenge Trophy, Under 20 was awarded to St Benedict’s College with 116 points followed by St Peter’s with 113 points and St Joseph’s College with 63 points.
The Dunstan Fernando Challenge Trophy for the overall relay champions was awarded to St Peter’s with 81 points followed by St Benedict’s College with 75 points and St Anthony’s and St Joseph’s with 48 points each.
The Rev Fr Joe De Mel Memorial Challenge Trophy for the overall champions of the meet went to St. Benedict’s College with 454 points. The Ranjith Weerasena runners up trophy was awarded to St Peter’s with 372 points and St Joseph’s College with 255 points.
The Quad is not only celebrated among present boys. Every year when the Quad is organized Old Boys too participate in several sports. This same gesture was extended to the athletics meet as well and we witnessed a very spirited Old Boys representation in some events. The Sergeant Commodore Samaranayake Memorial Trophy for the overall champions of the Old Boys events was won by St Peter’s College with 340 points and the Rev Fr Joe De Mel Memorial Challenge Trophy for the runners up was awarded to St Benedict’s College with 266 points and St Anthony’s College with 79 points.
The collective efforts of the four schools in organizing this event is commended. The schools thank the Sri Lanka Athletics Federation officials, St. John Ambulance Cadet Services of St Benedict’s College, sponsors and well-wishers, coaches, parents, and all participating athletes for a fabulous show. St Anthony’s College will host next year’s athletics meet in the cooler climes of Katugastota, Kandy.