With the fervour surrounding the 136th Battle of the Blues between Royal and S. Thomas’ College growing steadily, the teams representing the two traditional rivals at this year’s encounter assembled for the fixture’s official announcement recently at the Sports Ministry.
A notable difference at this year’s Royal-Thomian, which will be worked off from 12-14 March at the SSC, is the involvement of Dialog Axiata Plc as the event’s official sponsor.
“It is indeed an honour and privilege to be back at the Royal-Thomian. Dialog is not a stranger to the Royal-Thomian. We started in 2000 and sponsored the match until 2009, which is a great innings which Dialog is very proud of. I think the Royal-Thomian brand did a lot for Dialog during those years,” Dialog Axiata CEO Dr. Hans Wijesuriya said.
“After a break of five years we are back and are happy to be once again supporting this great event. Dialog is not a stranger to sports in Sri Lanka, starting with the Sri Lankan cricket team. Most importantly it has been a sponsor of sports which reach the farthest part of the country.”
Another change to the upcoming edition of the Battle of the Blues lies in its planning, which was mapped out by a organising committee featuring members from both Royal and S. Thomas’, rather than from one school alone, as was the case during previous years. This was meant to supply an added layer of camaraderie and unity to a game steeped in friendly rivalry.
The Chief Guest at the event announcement, Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake touched on this aspect of the encounter during his speech, saying, ”The emotions we go through during the three days are a mixture of happiness, sadness and camaraderie. This is what the Royal-Thomian is all about and I hope that the happiness and freedom and joy that we feel will be captured at this year’s game as well.”
Currently both schools are tied on 34 wins, with the D.S Senanayake Memorial Shield presently resting with the Royalists after their six-wicket win in 2013. The Royal Captain at this year’s Battle of the Blues is Harith Samarasinghe while S. Thomas’ will be led on the field by Helakamal Nanayakkara.
Pic & Article Credit : DailyFT, 2015 (http://www.ft.lk/2015/02/23/dialog-returns-as-roy-tho-sponsors/)