A former schools national hurdler, Asanka Ratnayake made his entry into coaching by training youngsters at little known Wilpotha Anura MV, Chilaw. The first of his trainees to hog limelight at junior national level was Malith Rangana who went on to represent Sri Lanka in his heyday in 2012. Currently a Physical Education Teacher at St. Andrew’s Balika, Nawalapitiya, Ratnayake achieved a notable milestone in his career both as a technical official and as a coach on Sunday.
At the awards presentation conducted by the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka for Level four technical officials and the IAAF Level 1 coaches, Ratnayake was presented the Major General Palitha Fernando trophy for obtaining the highest marks at the Level four Technical officials examination.
He also received the certificate for passing the IAAF Level 1 coaches course conducted recently.
“These achievements are necessary for our forward march in producing quality athletes and conducting quality competitions,” Ratnayake told The Island after receiving his award.
Ratnayake’s trainees have already entered record books.
One of his trainees Dasun Wijeratne of Anurudhdha Kumara National School clocked 4:05.56 seconds in the Under-18 Boys’ 1500 metres to establish a new record at the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships last year.
Dasuni Kaushalya of Wickramabahu National School, Gampola also created a new meet mark in the Under-18 girls’ 100 metres hurdles when she stopped the clock at 14.70 seconds at the same meet. Shamali Rashmika of St. Andrew’s Balika was placed second in the Under-14 girls 80 metres hurdles at the same meet.
Probably Ratnayake’s highest achievement was guiding the St. Andrew’s Girls’ School to the Under-13 girls’ title at the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship last year.