Stage set for Blue & Gold Hockey Carnival

The 14th Blue & Gold, All-Island Schools Hockey 7s Tournament will be staged at the Royal College ground, Reid Avenue, on October 8 and 9, with the participation of 58 schools- 36 Boys’ and 22 Girls’. The main Sponsors of the tourney, as always, will be Singer Sri Lanka (SL). The competition, inaugurated in 1992 by the Royal College Hockey Club (RCHC), has come a long way in terms of participation, popularity and following. The initial idea of the Blue & Gold Hockey 7s was to help Royal College raise its standard in Hockey, as they were lowly placed among schools.

In 1992, the ‘RCHC’ was a loosely knit, informal group of schoolboy Hockey enthusiasts which organised its inaugural tournament, followed by a 10-year break. In 2002, with Royal still an ‘also ran’ in schools Hockey, at the insistence of the then Principal, the RCHC was formally and officially established. Since then, the RCHC has been the live wire behind Royal’s resurgence in Hockey with the Blue & Gold 7s advancing its revival. ”The maiden Blue & Gold 7s staged in 1992, was sans a sponsor, and was 1-day affair restricted to Boys only with 16 teams.

However, after a lapse of 10 years, on the initiative of two senior members of the RCHC, the late Lionel Almeida (better known in Rugby circles) and Chandi Chanugam, both Vice Presidents of RCHC, enthused the committee to re-start the tournament. Enter Singer SL which gave the tournament a huge boost, and the RCHC was up and running with a new-found vigour. We are indebted to our main sponsor Singer SL, co-sponsors, advertisers, Sri Lanka Schools Hockey Association, the Education Dept, Sri Lanka Hockey Federation (SLHF), Colombo Hockey Association, SLHF Umpires Committee and our well-wishers who have contributed much to the success of the tournament.

This tournament has continued uninterrupted since 2002, despite the dark days in between. On the contrary, it went from strength to strength and has flourished over the years,” said an official RCHC statement. Though RCHC’s motive was clearly to develop Royal’s Hockey, the tournament proved to be a hit among schools as the years went by. Today, with the tournament in its 14th year, the Blue & Gold 7s is one of the most looked-forward to tournaments among schools.

From a 1-day affair with only 16 Boys’ teams vying for honours, it wasn’t long before Girls were added to the fray, which made the tourney a two-day affair. Over the years, with unflagging commitment and dedication, the tourney has now become a well planned, organised and conducted one which schools eagerly await. The country’s top Umpires will officiate at this tournament played under 3 categories, Cup, Plate and Bowl, with trophies and medals on offer.

With the popularity of the tournament growing by the year, in 2003, our main sponsor Singer SL further extended their ‘benevolence’ with sponsorships of outstanding players at the tournament. In addition, for the first time, the champions, runners-up and second runners-up for both Boys and Girls will receive cash awards and exciting prizes. Special awards for ‘Outstanding Player of the Tournament’ and the ‘Best Goalkeeper” too would be on offer for both categories.