YR1M football tournament offers great opportunities for youth

 By Jude Hibb


THE PASSION for sports, especially football, is a way of life for most youth in Malaysia, making it a great way to foster national unity and promote an active lifestyle among young Malaysians.


For players like Fadzil Awang and Adha Mahmud from Sabah Amateur Football Association Daerah Papar, the Piala Mamee 1Malaysia Football Tournament offered them a chance to play outside of Sabah for the first time and gain an experience playing on a national field.


Sabah Amateur Football Association Daerah Papar football team (from left) Adha, Fabian and Fadzli.

GREAT OPPORTUNITY: Sabah Amateur Football Association Daerah Papar football team (from left) Fadzil, Fabian and Adha.


We managed to interview them along with their coach, Fabian Linus, before the recently concluded fourth zone of the tournament which saw 16 teams from Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan competing.


According to the Fabian, this is their first big football tournament and the first time they have played outside Sabah.


“There are lots of talented football players in my team but there is no fund for organising activities to get them all together, we cannot hold any big tournament such as this. Nevertheless, the passion of the youth is the main factor which encouraged me to help and teach them for the sake of supporting and continuing their passion in football.”


Adha Mahmud

Adha Mahmud

His player, Adha Mahmud, 19, striker said: “I have been playing football since I was in primary school and this is the first time that I joined such big football tournament representing Sabah, and this is a new exciting experience for me. Apart from getting to know other players from other regions, I also managed to learn and pick up some important notes and skills about playing football through watching other teams play their game.”


His mate, Fadzil  Awang, 19, added that his interest in playing football came from his father who once represented Sabah as goalkeeper. “My goal is to reach beyond his level, maybe to play for the national team if chances are big for me here.”


They hoped to be able to play football in higher positions and bigger games, ultimately becoming a player in Malaysia’s national football team.


According to Ung Su Ling, chief executive officer of YR1M, the tournament is the first sports tournament organised by YR1M in partnership with Mamee-Double Decker (M) Sdn Bhd and Manchester United.


“The tournament is not merely about football, but the main objective of the tournament is to instill positive competitive values and good sportsmanship, unite Malaysians through sports, create a competitive platform for youths to compete, contribute to the development of football talent in Malaysia as well as provide career opportunities in football, and the best way by telling people to be united is through activities such as sports,” she said  during the East Malaysia leg of the tournament at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), on January 11.


The Piala Mamee 1Malaysia Football Tournament, which started its first leg last November has gathered over 1,200 talented under-19 footballers across Malaysia to play for the Grand Prize of RM15,000 along with the Tournament Trophy.


Divided into five zones –  North, Central, South, East, and East Malaysia – the top two teams will be among the final 10 teams from the four regional tournaments to battle it out during the Grand Finals in Kuala Lumpur starting February 26 to March 2.


Also present at the leg was Irwan Zulkarnain Hasbee, Council Member of 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council (1MSAC).

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