Former Kingswood College, Kandy Youth SC, CR and FC, Kandy S.C. and Sri Lanka ruggerite, Nalaka Weerakkody, who was excellent in kicking both goals and to touch, is out to help rugby players by conducting kicking drills.

Rugby fans are sure that these kicking drills will help players develop both ability and technique. Each kick has a purpose and Weerakkody is sure to use these drills even with youngsters who are starting out.

Good sportsmanship is a key feature in any side trying to succeed. Weerakkody was the kicking coach for St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota this season. He contributed immensely as the school’s fly half, scoring over 100 points in goal kicking. These points came off 13 conversations, 23 penalties and 3 drop goals.

At present, the need in school rugby is to hire coaches who should start by teaching how to respect the opposition. It’s important that you respect the opposition, even when things aren’t going your way. Coaches like Weerakkody can show player this aspect of the game. Today’s players should be taught how to shake hands meaningfully before and after the game. If you win, you shouldn’t be arrogant.

One must also remember to be gracious in victory. Members in the losing team must stay determined and come back. The saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ is dictum to go by when promoting sportsmanship. If a coach behaves well it is sometimes better than a pep talk. Coaches must be good enough to be role models to players. Young players also must take a professional approach to the game.

Since school rugby moved away from these ideologies, it became a joke this season.
Kandy schools are contemplating thoughts of sticking with their traditional games in the future. Rugby is one of the most popular ball games played by schools. Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association seems to have little control over rugby. This is why the Education Ministry had to step in and settle a dispute during the knockout tournament.

This is why rugby followers believe that it would be ideal for schools to stick to their traditional encounters in future. In the early days of rugby there was a strict code where amateur sport was concerned. This enabled sport to be played in a gentlemanly manner. People played sport for the love of it.

At present, we see such huge change in the approach to the game. The strict code for sport seems to be disregarded and money plays a bigger role than values. On the other hand, coaches are paid huge salaries and the news set-up ensures players get the best facilities. Rugby is one of Kandy’s most celebrated events.

Former players like Weerakkody who have taken to coaching can help give value to this code of conduct for players and officials and make the sport more pleasant.