Royal College’s Blue & Gold Hockey 7s returns after three-year lapse

August 3, 2023 at 9:30 AM

The 18th edition of the Blue and Gold Hockey Sevens organized by Royal College, Colombo in collaboration with the Royal College Hockey Club (RCHC) will take place on August 12 and 13 from 8.00 am onwards at the Royal College main grounds at Reid Avenue.

The tournament is held for the first time since 2019 as the Covid pandemic followed by an economic crisis prevented the organizers from having the annual event in the last three years. 

This fascinating all-island hockey tournament is a much-anticipated hockey extravaganza featuring the participation of both boys’ and girls’ schools across the island. 

Over a quarter century old RCHC has arranged top-notch facilities including accommodation for outstation teams, meals, and beverages with the help of sponsors despite the current economic crisis.

The tournament provides the young and energetic players coming from diverse backgrounds with the unique opportunity and exposure of displaying their skills and talents in an arena that has not only caught the limelight in the hockey fraternity of the nation but is also an eye-catching attraction on the schools’ sports calendar in Sri Lanka. 

The intense competition, thrill, excitement, sportsmanship, interaction, and camaraderie along with the carnival atmosphere that prevails during the two days of the tournament brings about a memorable experience to everyone who participates, attends and witnesses the tournament.

The most prestigious event in the school hockey calendars this time will see record high number of 66 schools participating in both boys’ and girls’ categories with a promise of dazzling showcase of talent, innovation, and sheer sporting brilliance.

This year’s Blue & Gold Hockey 7s tournament will see cutting-edge innovative technology in the whole tournament including digitization of the team registration process. 

The first edition of the Blue & Gold Hockey 7’s took place in 1992 with a participation of only 16 boys’ schools. Despite the success of the tournament, the continuation was constrained due to funding limitations. 

However, after a lapse of ten years, the tournament was recommenced in 2002 and brought to action on a very grand scale with tremendous commitment by the office bearers of the Royal College Hockey Club. 

Since its recommencement, the tournament has witnessed outstanding progress and has become a trendsetter in improving, developing, and evolving the game of hockey in Sri Lanka. 

A special mention must be made on Singer Sri Lanka and other sponsors for playing a major role towards the consecutive success of this tournament.

Dharmaraja College emerged victorious in the Boys category under the Cup Championship when the tournament was held last time in 2019, while Seethadevi Balika clinched the Cup Championship in the Girls category. 

Top notch school hockey teams Alocious College Galle, Kingswood College, Kandy, Zahira College Matale, St. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia and Matale, Ananda College, Colombo along with the hosts Royal will be in the fore front to win the title for this year in the boys category, while eight-time champions Seethadevi Kandy and Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya, Kotte are expected to give their best in the girls category. 

But with most of the schools outside Colombo, Matale, and Kandy have been playing improved version of the game now, nobody can be ruled out winning the prestigious title.

The hosts Royal College Colombo lead the tally in the boys’ category with three championships under their belt, followed by Nalanda College, Vijaya College-Matale and Joseph Vaz College who have won the tournament twice each while Zahira College Matale, Wesley College, Vidyartha College Kandy, St.Thomas College Matale, Kingswood College, Trinity College and Ananda College who have won the tournament on a solitary occasion each.

In the girls’ category, Seethadevi College are leading the tally with a record of eight championships and second on the tally is Pushapadana College with four championships while Musaeus College, Vijaya College Matale, St. Anthony’s Girls CollegeKandy and Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya Nawala have won the tournament one time each.

The tournament is carried out with a Cup championship, Plate championship and Bowl Championship with all teams initially going through a preliminary group stage of matches followed by a series of knockout games which leads the two most deserving teams to battle it out for the Cup championship in the grand finale.