Police celebrate 150 years | Daily News

Police celebrate 150 years


This year marks the 150th anniversary, of the policemen who over the years have produced many top sportsmen and they are quite rightly celebrating it with sporting activities. This is one department which has given the best for every sport and in connection with the celebrations there was a series of sporting events at every town.

Kandy under DIG S.A.D.S. Gunawardene, SSP Division Edmund Mahendera, and HQI Nipuna Dehigama along with the rest gave a big hand in conducting sporting activities. It was due to the efforts of I.E. David, one-time IGP, who initiated the Bambalapitiya Police grounds in 1812 that helped policemen in a big way to promote sports. It was a crown land, of about 6½ acres.

Then in the year 1928 the pavilion was built by Sir Henry Leyard Dowbiggin the then IGP. In 1954 the cricket scoreboard came up that was during the time of IGP W.T. Brindley. In 1993 the grand stand was built during the time of E.E.B Perera‘s term as IGP. The two left and right wings were completed in 2003 when. T.E Anandaraja was the IGP.

The first sport the policemen took up was gymnastics in 1877 due to the efforts of Major S. Nolis, who also helped at cricket, boat racing and football? The first football match was played in 1896 on March 2 against St Joseph’s College. The cops were led by A.S. Thawson. Then the Police Football Association was formed in 1897.

At cricket, the first ball was bowled on September 24, 1898, against Royal College, where the Royalist was able to score 175 runs and the Policemen made 80 runs.

The first Inter Divisional Athletic meet was held on March 1, 1902, at Havelock Race Course Ground. The first Gun Shooting contest of Police was between Galle and Ambalangoda in 1903. Boxing was another popular sport at Police, thanks to I.E. David who was the IGP between 1910 and 1913, gave a big hand for boxing and introduced the game. That was the time where a 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 this situation, boxing helped the policemen to knockout the thugs. Basil Henricus became the first cop to win a gold medal in the bantam weight in 1948 at the Imperial Athletic Meet in Australia. This is known today as the Commonwealth States Athletic Meet. The Police had some top boxers like H.P Jayasuriya, his brother C.P.Jayasuriya, Dharmasiri Weerakoon, Sumith Liyanage and Nimal Lewke.

Rugby was started in January 1881 when a team of police officers participated in a rugby game at the “Kew Garden” Park in Malay Street, Slave Island. In 1961 Police SC together with Division ‘B’ teams from Air Force, Army , Navy and University were permitted to play alongside the Division ‘A’ clubs, CR &FC, CH&FC, Havelock SC, Kandy SC, Dimbula A & CC , Dickoya MCC, Uva and Kelani Valley Club in the Clifford Cup competition.

It was in 1967 under the leadership of S. ‘Siva’ Sivendran Police became “B division champions and were promoted to “A” Division the following year and in their first year entered the Clifford Cup finals. Police won the Clifford Cup outright for the first time in 1972 under Anton Benedict when they beat CH&FC 12–9.

Police SC went on to win six consecutive league titles from 1984-89. During this period the club won numerous Sevens wins and clinched the triple crown twice. 


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