May 03, 2020

Thilaka Jinadasa resigns as coach

Netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa made a shocking move on the netball fraternity by tending her resignation to the Sri Lanka Netball Federation (SLNF) last Sunday while swearing never to return to the job.

This move is seen as highly uncalled for as she was responsible for uplifting the game during her term of three years and her contract was to terminate at the end of the Asian Netball Championship which was scheduled to be held from June 20 to 24 in South Korea and postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to Jinadasa, the Asian Championship is likely to be cancelled as there will be another two major international netball tournaments scheduled to be held next year. They are the World Junior Netball Championship and the Asian Junior Netball Championship.

However, Jinadasa has not given a valid reason for her resignation as the national netball coach except that her contract will expire this year.

She has been offered a prominent career with Gateway International College after a chance meeting with its enthusiastic sports director Harsha Alles.

“I wanted to pursue a professional career as decided earlier, but by accident I met Dr. Harsha Alles who offered me a good opportunity to take up as the team leader in Sports Development and that looked very tempting and inspiring. I also have an opportunity to improve my administration and technical skills at the same time,” confessed Jinadasa.

Jinadasa came into the limelight and fame by representing Sri Lanka in athletics and later became an icon in netball. She brought honours and glory to Sri Lanka in both these fields.

Jinadasa was an outstanding sprinter in the 1980s, making her mark in the 100m and 400m hurdles and 4x100m and 4x400m relay events. She was the first Sri Lankan female Olympian to represent the country when she made her appearance in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games running in the 100m hurdles event.

She was also the holder of the Sri Lanka women’s 100m hurdles record for five consecutive years and renewed the record no less than nine times during the 12-month period from 1986 to 1987.

Jinadasa erased Selva Gawri’s record of 15.1 secs in the 100m hurdles by clocking 14.1 secs to own the record herself and went through many hardships during her tenure as the netball head coach and stepped down after clinching the Asian Netball title in 2009. She was then inducted to coach the Brunei netball team and spent nine years nurturing and guiding them to become a winning outfit in the Asian region.

Jinadasa returned as the head coach of the Sri Lanka netball team and won the gold at the Asian Championship in 2009. She guided the team to gain the title at the Asian Netball championship in 2017 and earned many praises for her achievements as the coach. She claimed that she will never accept the post of national netball coach in the future.


(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by has not been edited by SLM staff)