The annual general meeting of the Festival of Cricket (UK) was held on the 12th of October and the President of the Dharmaraja College OBU (UK) Mr. Upul Ekanayake has been elected as the President of the FOC for the next year.
With a membership of 28 Sri Lankan Old Boys Associations operating in the UK, the FOC is one of the premier Sri Lankan community organisations in the United Kingdom. The annual Festival of Cricket is the biggest multi-ethnic celebration that promotes harmony and community spirit amongst Sri Lankans domiciled in the UK.
The annual summer cricket festival attracts thousands of Sri Lankans and their friends in the UK and from abroad. The FOC celebrated its silver jubilee last summer in a grand style with a magnificent display of cricketing talent together with fun filled events for the delight of a gathering of over 5000 attendees. All proceeds of the FOC are distributed amongst the participating schools to support their activities. It has also donated to charitable projects such as Cancer Institute of Sri Lanka and Cancer Research - UK.
Upul is from the "75 Group" at Dharmaraja College and has been a real live wire at the OBU UK branch over the last 12 years. He has been elected President of the DRC OBU (UK) since 2007 at every single AGM and has been the leading figure in reviving the OBU UK branch after a period of low activity. An increase in the membership has resulted in several annual activities being held with a focus on raising funds for the school development. Under his leadership two computer labs were established and equipped at the school. Another highlight was the supply of equipment for the school cricket and rugby teams. The very popular old boy's big match between Kingswood and Dharmaraja now being played on an annual basis in the UK was first initiated under Upul's leadership few years back. The many old boys spread across the country have also been linked over the last few years through the optimised use of social media. Recently the OBU successfully sponsored and ran part of the founderâ€™s day celebrations at the London Buddhist Vihara commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala.
In addition there have been many other social, cultural, sporting and fund raising events Upul has organised. In all these roles and activities he has always received strong support from his wife Tanya.
Leading up to this appointment Upul had held roles with increasing responsibility within FOC over the last several with the most recent position being Treasurer for 2013-2014. With this opportunity to lead the FoC in the coming year, there is little doubt that Upul will take this very popular and successful annual fund raising event to another level.