By Harsha Amarasinghe
A controversial photograph of a Science College Under-14 rugby player wearing a St. Peter’s College rugby jersey which is being circulated in the social media has left the Mount Lavinia outfit fuming.
Science College Principal Susantha Mendis in a letter addressed to St. Peter’s Rev. Trevor Gerard Martin has accused St. Peter’s of ‘unethical practice.’
“Here in I draw your attention to the developments on social media, especially on Facebook with regards to an incident involving a current student of Science College. Student in question, B. K. Wathila Vinujana is a part of the Science College Under-14 Rugby Team but was seen playing in a practice match for St. Peter’s on July 18, 2019 at Bambalapitiya against Lalith Athulathmudali College.”
“I have attached photograph evidence for your reference. I wish to place my protest on record for this unethical practice and sincerely believe St. Peter’s College have resources in abundance to develop homegrown talent to win trophies. This kind of practice inflicts a considerable damage to an institute like Science College that runs sport with great difficulties with minimum resources available,” the letter reads.
In respond to the claims, a spokesperson from St. Peter’s made it clear that the player in question has not joined St. Peter’s.
“There are actually a lot of players at school level wanting to come and continue their rugby here in St. Peter’s College because we do have an amazing coaching staff and great facilities for any talented individual to reach new levels in their careers. So, this boy mentioned was at the College for a trial game. But I want to make it clear that he has not joined St. Peter’s by any means. I also understand the emergence of a story of this nature because some people are not really fond of the success we have had for the last couple of years,” the spokesperson said.
The players from lesser teams joining top schools has been a talking point for many years, and St. Joseph’s College in particular has been ridiculed over what is called ‘imports’ these days.
However, while it indeed is a heavy blow for the lesser teams, one should also realize that it presents the young talents a great platform to really flourish. One of the finest examples is Kandy SC superstar Danushak Ranjan moving to St. Peter’s at young age from Pliyandala Central to eventually become the best player in Sri Lanka.