A.J. Rodrigo no more
He even had a personal gymnasium in his backyard and trained athletes for free. He did not go after publicity as well
A. J. Rodrigo, a veteran throwing coach who has produced a number of world class athletes passed away recently after a brief illness. He was 73 at the time of his demise.
He was the record holder in discuss throw in 1978. He was attached to the Sri Lanka Air Force. After his retirement, he served as an athletics coach for nearly 30 years.
An unassuming character, Rodrigo has dedicated his time and money to lift the standard of athletics during the last three decades. He has produced several Olympics, World Championships and Asian Games athletes.
Among them are Nadeka Lakmali who represented Sri Lanka at the Olympics at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Sachith Maduranga and Dilhani Lekamge were the javelin throwers he produced.
Manoj Amarasinghe and Janaki Galhena are the Sri Lanka Hammer Throwers he has coached.
Nadeeka Muthunayake (Shot Putt), Devini Madurapperuma ( Shot Putt and Discus Throw) are the National Record Holders he had trained.
A.J. Rodrigo had dedicated his life to sports. He did not go after money or foreign trips. He showed a strong love towards the athletes he coached.
He even had a personal gymnasium in his backyard and trained athletes for free. He did not go after publicity as well. He was the main coach after Lakshman De Alwis, Parry Liyanage, and Derwin Perera who are no more.
A. J. Rodrigo belongs to a sports family. His brother A.J. Rodrigo ( Senior) was a former District Coach attached to the Ministry of Sports. His event was the Shot Putt. This Rodrigo’s daughter Deepika Rodrigo too has been holding the Sri Lanka Shot Put record for several years.
Coach Rodrigo with medal winner Dilhani Lekamge