The Sydney Malaysian Games (indoor segment) this year which took place on Saturday 16th of April from 9 am to 3 pm. Many Malaysian societies from various universities were in attendance such as USYD, UTS, UNSW, Macquarie and Wollongong. I have never been to sports event before so, to be completely honest, I was nervous but excited to see what was in store.
When I arrived at 7:30 am, participants were already registering and warming up for Badminton and Volleyball which started at 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. From 1:30 pm onward until 3 pm, the Basketball and Captain Ball games began. There was an intense competitiveness yet a strong sense of sportsmanship between the players. Apart from enjoying the event, I got a chance to talk to the presidents of the groups who told me all about how the event was organised and what they hoped to achieve through the efforts of their teams.
In order to co-ordinate such events, the presidents collaborate with each other and their sponsor, the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MSA CA). It is a group effort made by Malaysian students for Malaysian students. The annual event has already been conducted for approximately 7 years. In the past years, more and more students (from both Malaysian and other backgrounds) have joined leading to bigger teams and bigger groups. It evidently shows that the student community is strengthening through such events.
I also wanted to find out how the experience went for the participants and was able to interview Nurafiqah Yusof. She had participated in Badminton earlier in the day and this is what she had to say:
Have you played in events like these before?
“This was my first time attending such an event. Last year I hadn’t been involved in anything to do with Malaysian students. At the beginning of the event, i was sort of pumped up and nervous at the same time because I would be playing against or with people I had never met before. Basically playing with strangers. But as the event progressed, I felt much more comfortable with my teammates and it was refreshing to play with “strangers”.
I had only ever played the sports in high school on the school teams but it was different this time around because I was representing a Malaysian student organisation. Everybody at the event were friendly off the court but on the court, they meant business. It was great to see such talent in the respective sports though it did make me nervous because I had to play against them.
What did you think about the event made for Malaysians by Malaysians?
I felt proud that they were Malaysians and they were representing our country so well in terms of their sporting abilities and their intelligence. It was a harmonious event with Malaysians from different schools competing against each other. It was the first time I had seen a large congregation of Malaysian students and it definitely made me feel like I was home. The best thing about the event was probably the fact that it brought together all these Malaysians from different unis and studying different things under one roof and “uniting” to represent their institutions.
What was the best thing about the day?
The best thing about the day was that I got to play badminton. Though it wasn’t my best performance, I still enjoyed every moment of it because I was with my friends and it helped me release some stress. Because this is an annual thing (I believe), I would most certainly attend if again next year if I have the time and I can participate. If not, I will just settle for spectating and/or volunteering.”
Clearly, I’m not the only one who enjoyed the event. Even though I was anxious at the start, I realized that I didn’t need to be. The environment was casual and comfortable, everyone was willing to get to know me and involve me in the fun. Cheering along with the audience and simply being part of the lively spirit made sport even more enjoyable than I had expected.
Thank you to the presidents of the group and everyone who had given me a warm welcome – audience and participants alike. If you are a fan of sport and would love to compete and be a part of a community, then do consider joining this event next year through your university group!
Photo credits: Sumaiyah Tasneem
Last modified: May 5, 2016