A glimpse into the past of Sri Lanka’s New Sports Minister!


After many years of trying and testing experienced politicians as Sports Ministers, Sri Lanka now has a young leader in the form of Hon. Namal Rajapakshe to take on the responsibility the portfolio brings.

Hon. Rajapakse will go down in history as the youngest Sports Minister and the first former National Sports Captain (Rugby) to hold such a position in Parliament. After contesting from Hambantota and claiming the top spot in preferential votes (166,660) at the general elections, he will take his seat in the new parliament as the Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs.  

Rajapakshe has been an athlete right from his childhood. Hailing from S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia, he was a striving school boy rugby player who went onto achieve his first milestone back in the year 2000 when he was given Captaincy of the Sri Lanka U16 Rugby team. Five years later, he led the Thomian legion at the ‘A’ Division Schools Rugby League and the Sri Lanka Junior Tuskers at the U19 Asia Rugby Championship 2004/05. Following his graduation from the school by the sea, Rajapakshe went onto enroll himself at Cardiff University, Wales as a Law undergrad and was a key player at the Inter-university rugby league in Wales as well. 

He graduated from the City University in London with a third-class Law Degree in 2009 and successfully qualified as an attorney-at-law from Sri Lanka Law College in 2010. That same year Rajapakshe played a key role in the Sri Lanka Rugby team as an experienced hooker whilst leading Navy Sports Club in the domestic club rugby league. Three years later he was appointed as the National Rugby Captain and went onto lead the Tuskers on numerous tours. 

The following year, he announced his retirement from professional rugby and ended his career on a high note when Navy SC clinched the Club Rugby League title, dethroning a dominant Kandy SC set up. He then got into coaching and was involved in training CH & FC during the most recent Club Rugby season. He has worked tirelessly to develop the sport not just in Sri Lanka but in India too as he voluntarily attended a coaching camp at Srinagar India, to help spread the sport. 

Namal Rajapakshe coaching the girls of the Srinagar Girls Rugby Club

Apart from rugby, Rajapakshe is an ardent follower of Sri Lanka‘s most beloved sport, Cricket – and shares close relations with many national cricketers. He has also been involved in uplifting lesser followed sports such as Cycling and Racing.

Namal Rajapakshe at a cycling event

With a background in the field of Sports, a lot is expected from the young Minister as he has had firsthand experience of what a national athlete goes through. We at ThePapare.com wish the newly appointed Minister all the very best for a successful tenure.