By Shamzeer Jaleel
The current Sri Lanka High Performance Rugby Director, Inthisham Marikar on Tuesday tendered his resignation to Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) where he was employed.
This shocking move by the former Trinity College Rugby ‘Lion’, Sri Lanka Sevens, 15-A-Side player, CR & FC and Kandy Sports Club player will no doubt have a huge impact on the Sri Lanka Sevens outfit's preparations for the 2018 Asian Games Rugby Tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The former Air Force Sports Club and CR & FC Head Coach, Sri Lanka Sevens and 15-A-Side Coach was able to take the game in the country into a new level through his expertise coaching.
Marikar was responsible in inaugurating the High Performance Programme at Sri Lanka Rugby after having studied the basics in New Zealand.
He emphasised on age grade development and his team showed quick success by winning the Under-20 Asian Sevens Championship for the first time under the leadership of Kevin Dixon.
This was followed by another sensational Sevens victory by the Sri Lanka Under-18 Team under the Captaincy of Naveen Henakankanamge.
Marikar continued with the good work along with the coaching staff as they helped the Sri Lanka Men’s outfit to emerge runners-up in the Asian Sevens Series.
Marikar and the coaching staff did a structured programme throughout the year and monitored the sevens athletes without any break or off seasons to develop them into top class players in the Asian Region.
In addition, they also did yeoman services to improve the standard of Women’s rugby in the country as they emerged Cup champions at the 2017 Borneo Sevens Tournament.
The Sri Lanka Men’s Team also showed tremendous improvement when they beat a strong Fijian outfit 12-0 at the Borneo Sevens Tournament this year after having lost to the same opponents 0-30 two years ago.
In the same tournament, Sri Lanka were narrowly beaten 17-20 by Hong Kong and went on to beat a leading New Zealand Team in the quarter-finals during extra-time.