Kadirgamar a sportsman in its true sense
By Shamseer Jaleel
It took only a few seconds and a few bullets from the gun of a scheming sniper to take away a great human being and leave behind an unforgettable legend. Without any doubt Lakshman Kadirgamar who left us last week was one of the finest sports personalities produced by Trinity College Kandy.
Even after leaving his alma mater Lakshman Kadirgamar left a certain degree of omnipresence where he made himself present within a short notice for any function of the school. Once he was there he was back in school and was a source of inspiration to the generations that followed him just with his methodical organizational skills.

During his younger days at Trinity besides his studies he shone where it mattered. May be in his pads, or with the oval ball or just in his running shoes he made his presence felt.

He represented the Ist XI Cricket team from 1948-50 captaining in 1950 and winning colours. His contemporaries were Lakshaman Jayakody, and Eustace Rulach etc who later developed as well known personalities in their own rights.
Kadirgamar was awarded colours in Rugby Football in 1949. And in this sphere of sports too he played with a host of players in the calibre of Dennis Ratwatte, Eustace Rulach, Maurice Hermon, R. W. Tucker, K. Arumugam, Rizvi Mohamed and Berty Dias…just to mention a few of them. He represented the big league school fixture against Royal in the Bradby Shield encounters in 1948 and 1949.

However it was in athletics that Kadirgamar’s real talent in sport was depicted. A natural athlete as the legend says he was a trail blazer in the 120 yards hurdles. The pinnacle in his achievements came when he won the public schools with a record timing of 15.7 seconds under the leadership of C N Panabokke in the same event. Promptly his alma-mater honoured him with the rare ‘Trinity Lion” in the year 1949.

When the ‘Duncan White Challenge cup’ was awarded in 1949 for the first time, it was Kadirgamar who won it and he won the ‘De Soysa Challegne Cup’ also the same year.

Then to add another feather to his cap, fittingly the great man was invited to carry the ceremonial torch at the independence in the company of Duncan White, Oscar Wijesinghe and A.M. Sheriff. Lakshman who was an excellent all round student was also a bright student in his studies and was awarded the best all round students trophy the “Ryde Gold Medal”. His irreparable loss will be remembered for long years to come.


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