Jaffna is famed for its beautiful kovils, swaying palmyrah trees, sun-shot mangoes and mouthwatering crab curry. But it is also known for two other distinct things – football and yoga, both of which have a rich history in the Jaffna peninsula.
Introduced during the British rule, it is thought that Rev. Fr. J.A.R. Smythe was first to introduce football in 1881 to St. Patrick’s College Jaffna. Other schools were said to swiftly adopt the sport, rolling out a host of talented players through the years. Though the sport saw a dip during the civil war, there is clear evidence of a recent resuscitation with teams from the North emerging champs in many islandwide football tournaments.
AIA Insurance was therefore happy to host a range of fun-filled football activities at the recently held AIA-in-Town programme in Jaffna. As the Principal Global Partner of Tottenham Hotspur, one of the world’s best football clubs, AIA had some super activities lined up, which brought out the hidden football star in those that participated.
With over 2000 people flocking to the grounds near the Nallur Kovil where the events were held, over an estimated 1500 people tried their hands at the interesting footie games including ‘hit the goal’, ‘keepie-uppie’ and football Facebook activations. It was indeed rewarding for AIA to see football so alive in the town of Jaffna. On a more spiritual note, Yoga is special to Jaffna as one of the discipline’s most renowned gurus Jnana guru Siva Yogaswami, is believed to have spent years in meditation under the olive tree at Colombuthurai Road on the outskirts of Jaffna.
AIA hosted an early morning yoga class for its customers and wealth planners in Jaffna, for them to start their day on a calm and positive note. The class included both the meditative as well as physical aspects of the discipline, so participants can embrace a healthier, happier life. AIA’s five-day programme in Jaffna had a host of other engaging activities which literally kept the people of the town on their toes!