More than just a trophy
KUCHING: Sixteen under-19 hopeful teams from Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan participated in a nationwide youth football tournament at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kota Samarahan from January 7 – 11, 2014.
In the final round of the competition in the East Malaysia zone on January 11th, five teams from Sabah, five from Labuan and six teams from Sarawak competed against each other to secure themselves the final spots for the grand final tournament which will see the top two teams from each zone competing against the rest of the winning teams from each zone.
The tournament which covers five zones – North, Central, South, East and East Malaysia – began last year in November and had completed its East, South and Central regional tour. After this leg in East Malaysia, the northern zone will be the last one to cover from January 22nd till January 16th before the grand finale in Kuala Lumpur on February 26th till March 2nd.
Piala Mamee 1Malaysia Football Tournament was organised by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) in partnership with Mamee-Double Decker (M) Sdn Bhd and Manchester United in hopes of fostering relationship and friendship among the youths in the country.
With the aim of uniting young Malaysians across the nation through their shared passion for football, YR1M has worked with Football Association of Malaysia and its state-affiliates to ensure the participation of all states including Federal Territories of Putrajaya and Labuan.
YR1M is a charitable foundation founded in January last year dedicated towards benefitting Malaysians from all walks of life in line with the principle of 1Malaysia. The foundation focuses on improving the quality of life, education and sports.
Using football as their platform to reach out to the youth in Malaysia, YR1M hopes that this tournament is able to address some social issues among the youths and emphasises on bonding youths with their peers who share the same interest, national unity and giving back to the community.
“Football is more than just a game on the field.” said Ung Su Ling, chief executive officer of YR1M.
During this tournament all the players from 16 teams were housed together, enabling them to experience the bond of camaraderie. By practicing and spending time together, these players from different states are able to forge lifelong friendships during the tournament to strengthen the national unity.
“The players had a good time and it was an adventure for them since they come together from different places. I am quite happy to see their happy faces and how they get along with each other,” she said.
“Football requires good teamwork and this is where good character building comes in.” said Irwan Zulkarnain Hasbee, council member of 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council (1MSAC).
The participants that entered this tournament have to be under 19 years old and were chosen from the state-affiliated Football Association of Malaysia. The players came from various backgrounds including universities or colleges, schools, football clubs and football academy.
However, those from Malaysian Premier League, Malaysia Super League, President Cup and Youth under-19 Cup of the years 2012 and 2013 were not allowed to enter.
The champions for the East Malaysian football tournament on January 11 was Axis FC from Sarawak who beat Sabah team Daerah Tawau, 1-0. Both teams will be going to the grand final.
The second and third runner-ups were Tunas Asas Bolasepak Safa Kota Kinabalu from Sabah and Team Kickalob K2015 from Sarawak respectively with the score of 1-0.
The winners received a trophy, RM5,000, certificates and medals while the first runner up received RM3000, certificates and medal. The second and third runner up received RM2000, certificates, medal and RM1000, certificates and medals respectively.
In addition to the football matches, several developmental programmes such as all-girl football clinics, tournament workshops for players and coaches, leadership workshops, donation drives and youth engagement programmes were also developed for the participants.
Under the Jaringan Emas programme, Rm10 will be donated to charity for every goal scored ruing the regionals. The team with the best goal difference in each region will select the charitable cause to receive the Jaringan Emas donation.