Musaeus College wins the inaugural Musaeus – Gateway netball encounter
Musaeus College Colombo and Gateway College Colombo played the inaugural netball encounter between the two schools for Marie Musaeus-Rohini Alles Challenge Trophy at Royal College Sports Complex recently. Musaeus College Under 19 Netball team won the inaugural encounter after a closely fought game by 27-25 against their counter parts. The first quarter ended on 7 all and then Gateway led the second quarter by 14-13 and the third quarter 21-20. However Musaeites fought back during the dying stage of the game to snatch the victory. Musaeus College also won the Under-15 match by 7-5. An invitational match was played before the all-important Under 19 encounter, between Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo and Gateway College Kandy which Visakians won by 15-8.
Pamoda Jayasekera of Musaeus College was adjudged the Best Player of the Match while the Best Shooter’s award was won by Visakian Dilmi Wijenayake. Aneesha Perera of Gateway College won the Best Defender award. The match was played in front of a large gathering of enthusiastic spectators representing students from both schools, staff, parents, past pupils and well-wishers.
Quadrangle was there to cover the proceedings and had the opportunity of interviewing a prominent past pupil of Musaeus College and a current member of Board of Trustee of Musaeus College Mrs. Indrani Weeratunga and Chairman of Gateway Group Dr. Harsha Alles.
Reminiscing her school days and how Musaeus College has progressed, Mrs. Indrani Weeratunga shared her views first “125 years ago, Mrs. Marie Musaeus, a German lady who did so much for development of education in Sri Lanka, started this school what was then called at a ‘Mud Hut’ with only 12 children. Today I’m really happy to see, over these years Musaeus College has grown and now has 6500 students. School now provides all facilities to its students not only for academic activities but for all extra-curricular activities. Along with this the English Education, the discipline have improved and College has been recognized for its achievements in sports and extracurricular activities. So Musaeus is a great College today.
During my school days at Musaeus, I did not engage in sports very much. However I did play Netball and took part in College sports meet. I did my academic studies well and managed to enter the University. When I joined Musaeus at Kindergarten, Mrs. Ratwatte was the principal. Then there was Mrs. Rajapakse, Mrs. Regina Perera for a short while as a Principal and Mrs Dalsi Silva was the Principal when I left school. Musaeus as I mentioned before has an excellent reputation for Academic and none Academic activities. This encounter between Musaeus College and Gateway College is a special one. Although Netball has a long history in Sri Lanka, I personally think it was not been given a proper recognition, even among schools. We must thank Dr. Harsha Alles (Chairman of Gateway Group) for initiating this encounter. This will be an annual sporting encounter between the two schools. This will further promote the sport and also build the relationship between the premier private Girls’ school in the Island and a premier International School in Sri Lanka. So, I guess it’s a good move to build the comradery and relationship between the students and two schools.
Many parents today think children should do only academic activities. Only to read books, study well and then pass exams. With my own experience and through my long career in public service which includes Insurance Commission and SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission), I have seen and come across applicants who has first class degrees but they lack common sense, they have not played any sport and they do not know how to face an interview or to communicate. Parents must give their children a full perfect education, not only in academic but also in extracurricular activities. Not only sports, I also did dancing, music, debating and everything possible at school. My message is to parents to encourage their children not only to do studies but to get involved in extracurricular activities and other social activities too.
Dr. Harsha Alles who is the Chairman of Gateway Group who took over the helm of the Gateway College from its founder and legendary educationalist Mr. R. I. T. Alles had this to say “Gateway has a short history of 21 years. As many of you are aware it was founded by late Mr. R.I.T. Alles who is known to be a good educator and also the founder of D.S.Senanayake College and ended his career as State Secretary of Education. The fact remains as he started off as a teacher and Gateway is a place where we celebrate Teachers and our dear Students. In our short history we’ve achieved many things. Our main school is in Rajagiriya with branches in Kandy, Negombo and Dehiwela. We are about to start another school in Ratmalana. The most important thing is we believe in providing a global and an international education but we want our children grow up in a Sri Lankan environment and atmosphere to one day work for Sri Lanka and help this country move forward.
Musaeus College is one of the leading private schools in Sri Lanka and with a rich history. I think the common ground we found was more than the sport to a great extent we share same values. We want our children to grow up in a very Sri Lankan environment. In playing against a great school like Musaeus thereby creating opportunities for our children to network with one another, I’m really pleased. Because be it government schools, private schools or international schools at the end of it we all need to realise we all cater to Sri Lankan students. It is very important they network with each other and work as one family. We recently started a Basketball encounter with Royal College which is played for Alles-Gunasekere Trophy. It was a tremendous success and which is something similar to this encounter. In Sri Lanka the focus has been mainly on Cricket & Rugger and so called ‘Big Match’ concept also confined to those sports. But we know shorter version of games are getting popular. If you take T 20 Cricket has caught up mainly because of the constrain on time put on the longer version of games. Basketball and Netball are being relatively short games can be made popular than this if its given right impetus. That what we are trying to do.
On following his father’s footsteps as an educator, Dr. Harsh had this to say “Well, all I can say is that I will try my best but can ensure Gateway will continue to raise its bar in whatever it does. I’m really happy to see most of our children doing extremely well. More than anything I think we are producing balance all rounded children who will help to take this country forward!”