A cricket squad from St Benedict’s, Ealing, embarked on an exciting tour to Sri Lanka over the Easter holidays.
As well as enjoying some great cricket against outstanding teams, the itinerary included some unforgettable excursions and a wonderful introduction to Sri Lanka’s natural beauty, culture, and traditions.
The squad of 18 St Benedict’s cricketers, drawn from the U13, U14 and U15 age groups, played seven fixtures against Sri Lankan school teams, including two T20 matches at Colombo’s P. Sara Oval test match ground.
They were also lucky enough to train at the magnificent Galle International Stadium: fringed on two sides by the Indian Ocean, it is considered one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
The boys stayed in three different locations – Kandy, Hikkaduwa and Colombo – and the tour included several fascinating excursions, taking in an elephant sanctuary and a visit to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world.
A highlight of the tour was an inspiring afternoon at the Foundation of Goodness in Seenigama near Hikkaduwa, a charity founded by the MCC following the Tsunami of 2004, which transforms the lives of rural communities in Sri Lanka.
St Benedict’s is a long-standing supporter of its work and the boys presented the charity with a cheque for £8,600 which they had raised themselves by running, cycling, and rowing the circumference of Sri Lanka on the school’s rowing machine.
The presentation was made to Kushil Gunasekara, the Founder and Chief Trustee of the Foundation of Goodness, who said: "Your donation towards empowering rural disadvantaged communities in Sri Lanka is critical during this difficult time and without your help we would not be able to continue our various projects."
Deen, a pupil at St Benedict's, said: "The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the visit to the Foundation of Goodness which made me reflect on the privileges and opportunities I have.
"The joy and passion shown by the children at the Charity inspired me.
"Without a doubt this was a trip of a lifetime which has improved me as a person, cricketer and pupil."