History of Police Sports
From the history of Police Games and Sports…….
The contribution done by the Police Department of Sri Lanka for the advancement fosterage the Field of Games and Sports in Sri Lanka is inestimable. It seems that, it is very appropriate to study carefully in details, in this occasion, the history of games and Sports in connection with the Police Department, and about the players attached to the Police, who have already achieved distinguished positions at National and International levels during the time Span of 145 years of its existence.
In the year 1897, Major Nolis introduced Gymnastics as a part of Police Training.
During the early stages of Police Service no reports of Systematic programmes of Sports meets, conducted by Police Department. Occasionally there had been practice of playing Cricket. Boat racing and football as recreation for entertainment of officers at their leisure.
On 27th of January in 1881 a team of Police Officers had participated in a Rugger Match in the “Kew Garden” park at Malay Street, Slave Island according to prevailing reports. It is said that Police Officers
Anya, Deen, Noor and Amith had played the match for the Police Department cleverly with great talents, according to the history. In the year 1891, a Police Team of Pettah Station played a Rugger Match, with the Rugger team headed by Mr. Lantra. In this match Mr. G.L. Tradwel, an Assistant Supdt: of Police had played as the most talented Rugger Player.
The first Football Match of Police Department was played on 2nd of March in 1896 with the team of St Josephs College. In this Match, the Police Team was Captained by Mr. A.S. Thawson, an Inspector of Police. The Police Football Association was established in the year 1897. In the same year, the Police Football Team had a Match with a Foreign Team of the Ship H.M.S. Kosek who came to Sri Lanka, at the Rocket Cort Ground. In this match, Inspector of Police Camble and ASP Thronhill had played for the Police Team, and the match was drawn scoring one goal each.
In the same year, there had been a match between the team of United Colleges and the Team of Police Headquarters, and the Police Team won the match scoring 3 goals to nil. In the year 1901 the Police Team played a match with Hockey and Football Players Association of Colombo (CH & FC) and the Police Team faced a bad defeat losing nil, to eight goals.
In the year, 1885, Major Tranwel, a player attached to the Police Team, representing Sri Lanka played a Football match with Perek of Malaysia and Perek Team won the match.
The first Cricket match of Police Department was played on 24th of September in 1898, versus Royal College, in Colombo. In this match Royal College Scored 175 runs for the first inning, but the Police Team was able to secure only 80 runs for both the innings.
In the year, 1902, Mr. H.C. Dowbegin, Assistant Superintendent of Police of Kandy arranged a series of Cricket Matches, between the Police Team affiliated with a group of Kachcheri and Cricket Team of Kandy Recreation Club and this series was won by Kandy Recreation Club.
When Compared to the field of Sports and Games Athletic activities of the Police Department, it is clear, that Athletics or Physical exercises, have come to existence. In the Police Department, very lately to shrive with events of Sports and Games. But on occasion there had been Several Athletic Meets in the areas of Colombo, Kandy, Daluwella, Raddella and Uva.
The first Inter Divisional Athletic Meet was held on the First of Match in 1902, at Havelock Race Course Ground. This Athletic Meet was organized by Mr. Bride a Superintendent of Police, Western Province and all things were arranged and planned accordingly by Major Nolis. Mr. Atigalla, Police Inspector performed the work of Secretary to the Athletic Meet. There had been 14 events in the Sports Programme. In this contest, 220 yards Running Event was as an open one. At this meet, Tug-of-war was introduced as an item in the Sports programme, and it was held at the Police Park, Maradana. The Oldest Challenge Shield named “Nolis” which is in the possession of Police Department presently, was donated by Major Nolis spending his own money, is to be awarded to the best all round player.
At the end of the Sports Meet, a Price Giving Ceremony also was held, and after that public performance of music had been organized by first regiment “Gloster”. In this Sports Meet, two Police Stations Fort and Police Headquarters came for the semifinal contest of Tug-of-war and in the final competition, Fort Police Station won the contest. In the year 1951 Mr. H.R. Gouland, an European Police Constable was awarded the Nolis, Challenge Shield as the Champion of the Athletic Meet.
In the First Gun Shooting contest of Police, two Police Stations, Galle and Ambalangoda took participation in the year 1903.
Mr. I.E. David who was the Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka during the period between 1910 and 1913, played leading past in introducing Boxing to the department of Police. During that portion of time, mob of gangsters, armed with weapons such as kris-knives, daggers were operative in several places in the island sometimes, challenging even the Police Officers. To face to this situation, Boxing was introduced as a sport.
For the first time in the history of Police Sports and Games, in the year 1948, Mr. Bane Henricus, an inspector of Police won the Gold Medal for Bantamweight Boxing Event, at the imperial Athletic Meet, which is known today commonwealth States Athletic Meet in Melbone in Australia. That was considered as a great achievement for the Police.
We have to mention with gratitude several names of heroes, such as H.P and C.P. Jayasooriya two brothers, Dharmasiri Weerakoon and Sumith Liyanage who crossed the limits of Olympic Games during this time span, from the past up to this day.
Opening of Bambalapitiya Police Grounds:-
Mr. I.E. David, then Inspector General of Police, in the year 1812, acquiring a crown land, of about 6 ½ acres for the Police Department and inaugurated the Bambalapitiya Police Park. In year 1928 the existing Pavilion was built during the period of Sir Henry Leyard Dowbiggin the Inspector General of Police. In year 1954 current Cricket Score Board was built during the period of Mr. W.T. Brindley the Inspector General of Police. In year 1993 Grand Stand was inaugurated during the period of Mr. E.E.B Perera the inspector General of Police and two left and right wings of the Grand Stand were completed in year 2003 during the period of Mr. T.E Anandaraja the inspector General of Police.