Group of 97 has been supporting Royal College to promote the game of Football since year 2010 by organizing Soccer 7s inter batch tournament and each year donations were given from the profits made from the event to the development of the game. Furthering the support for the game, Group of 97 started CONDUCTING a one day Football Coaching Camp every year starting from 2014.
For the current year, the event was held on the 06th of June with more than 125 players representing the college Under 13, 15, 17 & 19 teams.
Chief guests for the occasion were the President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka Mr.Anura De Silva along with the Principle of Royal College, Mr.B A Abeyratne. Number of delegates from the Football Federation including the General Secretary Mr.Balendra Anthony as well as Chairman and the members of the Football Advisory and Management Committee of Royal college, teachers in charge of college football teams along with Senior games masters were among the other invitees.
The day started at 7.30am with the registration of the players which followed by the opening ceremony of the event. Welcome speech was delivered by Mr.Damitha Silva of Group of 97 highlighting the motive behind organizing this annual event, while Mr.B A Abeyratne thanked the old boys for taking responsibility and initiative in developing Football in college.
Recognizing the efforts of the group in uplifting the game within the youngsters, Football Federation has granted 100 number of newly imported footballs to the college which were handed over to the principal by the president of the Federation. In turn a souvenir plaque was handed over to Mr.Anura De Silva by the principal in appreciation of his participation & contribution.
There after refreshments were served to all invitees at the college conference hall, followed by a fruitful discussion on development of college football discussion was ended with a speech by Mr.Anura De Silva stating his vision for football in the country. He thanked the organizers for conducting this valuable program and pledged fullest support from the Federation for our future activities related to football.
Coaching session was underway right after the opening ceremony, starting with exercise sessions & fitness drills, soon followed by skills development, set piece movements and individual trainings. They were conducted by licensed coaches of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka headed by their technical diractor Mr.Chaminda Stainwall. Altogether 7 coaches were allocated for the ground sessions which were very successful due to the great enthusiasm shown by the players.
Session break for breakfast organized by the group of 97 and re-gathered with a class room session on medical, nutrition and injuries by a sports doctor who also happened to be a proud product of Royal College. He enlightened the students on different aspects of injuries and how best we can handle them and find speedy solutions.
Ground sessions continued thereafter and concluded for lunch organized by group of 97.
Program restarted at the college white board room with a motivational & leadership session conducted by a reputed speaker Mr.Faril Farook, who is also a proud batch mate of the group of 97. He inspired all the young players giving live examples from world renowned players and their life stories and educated on what qualities to be cultivated to be successful in future. Session was followed by a lecture on the rules of the game conducted by a licence referee from the Football Federation.
After the class room sessions players were back on the field with practice/exhibition matches, played between two teams mixed from under 13 & 15 teams and under 17 & 19 teams separately.
Training sessions were ended with the evening tea and refreshments provided by the group of 97 and soon began the closing ceremony with the participation of Chairman and the members of the Football Advisory and Management Committee, teachers in charge of college football teams & members of group of 97. Certificates were distributed to all the participating players while token of appreciations presented to lecturing and coaching staff along with the three coaches of the college. Most dedicated players during the coaching camp in each age category (and the best goal keeper) were rewarded for their efforts by group while these players were selected by the panel of coaches conducted the program.
Chairman of the Football Advisory and Management Committee Mr.Upul Pradeep emphasised the importance of uplifting college football to national and international level and also thanked the group of 97, who organized this event.
With the vote of thanks by the group vice president Mr.Rachitha Vitharanage, the event concluded around 5.30pm in the evening.