| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 17 June 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Malaysian Sikh police personnel, who hosted for the first time the annual Gurdwara Cup and Sikh Festival of Sports, have certainly left an indelible mark in organising the longest-running Sikh sports festival.
They had clearly raised the organising bar for the event now running into its 66th year.
On the social side, there was also another ‘bar’ that they had raised (or, should we say, lowered). For the first time, the game went on without alcohol being openly sold in a tent usually pitched very visibly in the games arena.
It is understood that there was an attempt to introduce a ‘no alcohol’ rule for team officials and members on the pitch during games, but it did not get through.
“I had put my foot down that we want an event with no alcohol in the field… You have children and youth there. In the past, they used to sell alcohol in the field,” Kuala Lumpur Chief Police Officer Commisioner Amar Singh told Asia Samachar.
The Royal Malaysia Police Sikh Sports Association (RMPSSA), a smallish outfit under the wings of the Malaysian police force, had hosted the games. Amar is the senior most police officer, rank wise, currently serving in the Malaysian police force.
It is understood that Amar and his team had most certainly injected courage to bring about some change in the alcohol issue, something that had been troubling certain segments of the community for many years.
However, they did not stop the sale of alcohol from the bar at Kelab Aman in Kuala Lumpur, the venue for some of the games. Alcohol was also served at a dinner attended by team leaders and officials from Malaysian-Singapore Sikh Sports Council (MSSSC), the organiser of the event.
After the games last year, held in Seremban, Asia Samachar ran a letter from a reader who expressed his discomfort with the presence of alcohol at the Sikh sporting event.
In response, MSSSC said it would continue to notify all member affiliates that a healthy way through sports is to cultivate a healthy life style.
“We may not be able to reduce [the alcohol] problem to none but will continue to play our part through sports to reduce the problem to some extent,” it said in a letter dispatched to Asia Samachar.
When asked about the games this year, many officials and participants were thrilled with the way most of the games were organised.
“They have set a new benchmark for the games. They had organised it without any issues. The team list was collected up front, they had looked into even the smallest of details,” said SSU Kelab Aman President Gagandeep Singh. Most of the field events were held at the Kelab Aman premises.
On this, Amar said: “Being from a disciplined body, it made things easier. You can tap logistic and personnel.”
The four-day 66th Sikh Festival of Sports, which ended on 10 June, was overall won by Kuala Lumpur, the defending champions. The Gurdwara Cup, the trophy for the hockey games, were won by defending champs Perak.
This year, 10 of its 11 MSSSC affiliate members took part: Federal Territory, Johor, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, RMPSSA, Selangor and Singapore.
Kedah will host the 67th edition of the Gurdwara Cup and Sikh Sports festival next year.
Overall Champions: Federal Territory 17 Points
Hockey Seniors: 1. Perak 2. Selangor 3. Federal Territory
Hockey Juniors: 1. Federal Territory 2. Negeri Sembilan 3. RMPSSA
Football Seniors: 1. Perak 2. Singapore 3. Negri Sembilan
Football Juniors: 1. Singapore 2. Perak 3. Federal Territory
Badminton: 1. Negri Sembilan 2. Pahang 3. RMPSSA
Netball: 1. Federal Territory 2. Selangor 3. Singapore
Golf: 1. Federal Territory 2. Perak 3. Johor
Under-12 Hockey: Winner: Pahang
Kabaddi: Chardikala Punjabi bt Perak Kabaddi Selection 30-24
Tug of War: Selangor bt Perak 2-0
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Malaysian Sikh police host Gurdwara Cup for the first time (Asia Samachar, 8 June 2016)
Well done, Pulapol, for alcohol-free Vaisakhi party (Asia Samachar, 29 April 2017)
MSSSC does not encourage, condone alcohol during games (Asia Samachar, 28 June 2016)
Alcohol, Gurdwara and the Cup (Asia Samachar, 28 June 2016)
Negeri Sembilan MB opens 65th Gurdwara Cup and Sikh Festival Of Sports 2016 (Asia Samachar, 2 June 2016)
Singapore Vaisakhi golf bash (Asia Samachar, 30 May 2016)
Mohinder takes over leadership at Singapore Khalsa Association (Asia Samachar, 29 May 2016)
Vear Singh Gill: Pillar of Singapore’s Hockey Team (Asia Samachar, 27 May 2016)
Parents behind track and field star Nauraj’s meteoric rise (Asia Samachar, 13 May 2016)