Champions of Support: Appreciating St. Peter’s College Rugby Sponsors at the 2024 Felicitation Ceremony

By Theara Hallock

26th May 2024

St. Peter’s College, the defending double champions of school rugby, along with the Rugby Foundation, hosted a gala felicitation ceremony at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo on the 21st of May evening in honour of the silent strength behind their first XV rugby team – the sponsors. The event was well attended, with various dignitaries including sponsors, wellwishers of Peterite Rugby, past captains, players, and Old Boys of St. Peter’s College.

Rector Rev Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo addressing the gathering

In the profound words of St. Peter’s College Rector Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo, “Behind every triumphant team, every cheering crowd and every unforgettable moment in sports, there stands the sponsors whose belief and support makes it all possible. Their commitment fills the dreams of athletes and ignites the passion of fans creating a legacy that transcends the game itself. Today we are delighted to honour our sponsors. Your support is the backbone of our success on and off the field.”

Adding to this message, the President of the St. Peter’s College Rugby Foundation, Mr. Samson Roy claimed that even though St. Peter’s can’t be champions every year, the high standards are maintained because Peterites have more than 90 years of history under their belt and a wider following. And with last year’s exhilarating double victory, St. Peter’s College has set the benchmark, so the sponsors can rest easy knowing that they will get a return for their investments in Peterite Rugby.

President of SPC Rugby Foundation, Mr. Samson Roy

It was under the Rectorship of Fr. D.J Nicholas Perera that St. Peter’s began their prestigious rugby journey in 1932. In the same year, they entered the then Ceylon Schools Rugby arena with its inaugural 1st XV under the first Peterite Rugby captain Lim Billimoria, becoming the fourth school in the history of Sri Lankan Rugby to play at the island-wide competitive level. They went on to have their first win two years later and in 1935, under the captaincy of Fred Keller, the Bamba Brigade made history by beating the vastly experienced Trinity College. The Peterites continued to grab the Schools Rugby Championship title for five consecutive years from that point onwards, under the legendary Archibald Perera and Percy Perera.

SPC Rugby then drew to a halt in 1942 as the College and grounds were used as a British base during World War II. The Peterites returned to Rugby in 1948 but took a few years to find their winning formula. Then under Archibald Perera’s coaching St. Peter’s produced four school rugby champion sides between 1965-1973 and produced a galaxy of stars to the Ceylon Rugby in the ’60s and ’70s. The Peterites faced testing times during the 80’s. A memorable win against Trinity College breaking a 44 year hoodoo, under Rajith Abeygoonewardena’s leadership in ’85 opened the gates for better times.

The 1990s and early 2000s also saw their fair share of Peterite triumph, as the school went on to produce many more victories, including the first President’s Trophy winning side under Sanjeeva Abeygoonewardena (1995) and the first Peterite champion side of the new millennium – the A Division Schools Championship in 2002 under Dilanka Wijesekera. The same year, St. Peter’s made more history as Mohamed Rinaz set a new schools record for the most number of tries with a final tally standing at 34.

When the St. Peter’s College and Sri Lanka Rugby Head Coach Sanath Martis took over the responsibility of Coaching the Peterites in 2005, it opened a new era at Bambalapitiya with the Peterites becoming the Schools Double Champions by winning outright, the Schools Rugby League and President’s Trophy Knockout Tournament, under the captaincy of Harendra Ariyawardena in 2006. The following year, St. Peter’s first XV Rugby team achieved the status of being the “Unbeaten Schools Rugby Champions” under the captaincy of Ranuka Jayasinghe, amidst celebrations of 75 years of Rugby at Bambalapitiya.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively, St. Peter’s won the President’s Trophy, the First ever Carlton 7’s trophy and their first Unbeaten Triple Championship XV under Keith Gurusinghe (2010). Peterites also won the All Island Schools 07’s Championships in 2011 and 2013. Sanath Martis after a successful first stint (2005-2011) returned once again in 2018 and St. Peter’s secured the Schools Rugby President’s Trophy Knockout Tournament in 2018 and 2019 under Javed Zarook and  Bilal Hilmy.

In 2023, St. Peter’s College under Ashain Madigaspe won the Schools Rugby League, remaining unbeaten and then went on to win the Schools Rugby Knockouts Tournament – ending the season as Unbeaten Schools Rugby Champions and bringing the League Championship back to Bambalapitiya for the first time since 2010.

This year in 2024, the Bamba Brigade strive to continue this legacy as St. Peter’s College First XV Rugby Team captained by the 3rd years coloursman Dulaj Nawodya heads into a championships-filled season. Nawodya, along with his Vice Captains Ranithu Ridmal and Yumeth Shihara and the rest of the team, along with the Head Coach Sanath Martis, have signalled their intention to vie to retain their double championship titles and win the All Island Schools Elite Rugby 07’s and Zahira Centenary Rugby 7’s.


Keeping in mind that its storied rugby legacy is bolstered by their invaluable sponsors, St. Peter’s College hosted this prestigious Rugby Sponsors Felicitation Ceremony, in a vibrant display of gratitude and celebration of the synergy between the college and its sponsors. Attendees were treated to an evening of recognition and camaraderie, filled with heartfelt tributes, inspiring accounts of sporting triumphs, and a shared commitment to the future of SPC rugby. This event not only highlighted the achievements of the past year but also set the stage for continued success, driven by the steadfast support of these essential partners.


Check Also

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024 kick off this weekend with eight exciting games

By Special Correspondent The much anticipated Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024 will kick off this …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this
error: Content is protected !!