Friday, March 26, 2010

The Navy Mini Olympics 21/2010 – Rugby Final

Every two years the Navy holds a sports carnival called the Mini Olympics. For a period of about 10 days, RMN personnel participate as players, coaches, organisers or simply staunch supporters for the more than 25 sports that are being played. The “Navy People” are divided into four Formations known as the Fleet, the Fleet HQ, the HQ Support and the Naval Education & Training Command (NETC).

The Fleet HQ March Pass Team During the Opening Ceremony of the Mini Olympics

I am part of the Fleet HQ but as the Chairman of the Navy Rugby Association (Navy ORCA), I am supposed to remain a neutral party. My main task is to organise the rugby tournament which includes making sure the facilities are all set to host the 6 scheduled rugby matches. Not a problem as I have all the assistance I need. I am also the Chairman of the Appeal/Technical Board, responsible in handling any protest/appeal, as well as determining the level of punishment for any red card offence.

The rugby tournament came to a successfully ending today. The Fleet HQ deservedly emerged as the Champions showing a very dynamic Game Plan on the way to beating the HQ Support in the final. The tournament format only allowed each team a maximum of 5 Navy ORCA players to be on the pitch at any one time, forcing teams to use either junior players, previously “retired’ players, or in an act of desperation, even new players to make up the rest.

The two teams going head-on in the final

It was a dream final. The best of Navy ORCA players were divided between the two teams. Teammates were formidable rivals for 70 minutes. Forget my Navy ORCA game plan, their minds were only set on one thing; being crowned as the Mini Olympics Champions while earning the bragging right over the losing side for the next two years!!!!! The final was closely contested for most of the game, and the Fleet HQ only managed to increase the lead significantly towards the later part of the second half.

Emotions were running high, and at some points little “brawls” almost erupted between some of the players. Yellow cards were flashed resulting in a few players spending 10 minutes in the sin bin. Adrenaline rush sometimes triggers temperamental reactions and in the hype of a competition; common sense may not always prevail. There were deafening screams from the spectators which were further amplified by the thunderous beating of big drums by each formation. It was just electric!!! I know some people may have a different opinion about what they saw today. It was a brutal final alright. There were some really crunching tackles, but unlike the first day when two players ended up needing medical attention, every player in today’s final came out okay except for some bumps and bruises which I’m sure will heal in the next few days.

The Fleet HQ Team Captain receiving his medal from the Fleet Commander.

I for one really enjoyed the game. There were plenty of wonderful moves throughout the game and some of the tries scored were really incredible. The Fleet Commander and his wife were there and I believed they got what they came for.....a spectacular final full of actions and drama from the word ‘go’. I am very proud of all my Navy ORCA players who took part in the final. They played instrumental roles for their teams and it was somewhat cruel that only one team could be declared as the winner. At the end, I was extremely glad...and relieved, to see my players embracing their opposite numbers as Navy ORCA brothers, and all the rivalry, the crunching hits, and the battle scars were things of the past that they could talk and laugh about.

Both teams are Navy Orca brothers again

And yes...boys will always be boys!!!!!!

I LOVE THIS GAME!!!!!!!!!!

My family with Dato' Kamarul & Datin Azrina

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Real Malaysian Idols

Nicol David just won the KL Squash Open today and Lee Chong Wei was last week the singles champion of the All England badminton. I consider these two as true Malaysian sports idols. They are World No. 1 in their respective fields but that’s not the reason why I adore them. I love them because they are the template for true sports heroes. Both have all the attributes I imagine in a champion. Good attitude, good fighting spirit, very competitive, very focus and above all, they consistently display inspiring persona of true champions.

Chong Wei fighting spirit is admirable

I love watching these two on TV. I know both will not disappoint me no matter whether they win or lose. Lee Chong Wei lost miserably in the Olympic final, but I was okay with it because I knew he gave his best against Lin Dan. And as we expected, he has bounced back hungrier than before. Nicole has been consistent in winning most tournaments but she too had some losing spell last year. But it did not seem to affect her focus en route to winning the KL title. How does she do it maintaining her No.1 title almost unbroken for 5 years? Incredible feat isn’t it?

Nicol in action dominating her opponent

How do they get to become who they are? I do not personally know these two personalities. I only heard details from the game commentators and news I read in the newspapers about what kind of training regime such champions go through. The sacrifices they make, including personal ones. Blood, sweat and tears that they have shed to arrive at the highest pedestal’s of their sports. As I watched Chong Wei when he went around the arena celebrating his hard fought win in the final against his Japanese opponent, I felt proud and elated to see a true Malaysian idol.

If you look at these two individuals, they seem to be really humble and down to earth. They are not arrogant in their speech, and above all, they are very much respected all around, even by their opponents. So Malaysian, we should seek individuals like these to become our idols. Forget Malaysian Idols, AF, Mentor…… and the likes (I don’t even want to list Bintang Kecil……don’t even want to get started). Save your energy, reserve your cheers and screams for real idols like Lee Chong Wei and Nicol David.

These are the real Malaysian Idols

The latest photo of the Real Malaysian Idol "borrowed" from Nicol's FB

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Life is wonderful

Life is wonderful. When all hopes seem to have vanished, all of a sudden, out of the blue, a silver lining appears. I encountered this experience recently. Wow…what an experience it was. The whole episode re-affirms what I’ve always believed…..”Just do your best, have faith and leave the rest to fate”. It’s not always easy when the odds are not really in your favour. But I’m glad I did not give up. I did not wallow in self pity…..and now, looking back I think I’ve also learned some invaluable lessons. Trying to capture the positive ones always, and l hope I’ll become a better person in the process.

And life goes on…..and I know there are more obstacles ahead. I hope I’ll always be ready for them. Alhamdulillah for your continued guidance and blessings.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

No update...??? Huh??

Too much going on lately.....can't even squeeze a little time to jot an entry into this blog. A lot of things to say though, but I'm worried by the time I get around to share the stories they will be yesterday's news. I'm content nonetheless, as I've learned a heck of a lot these past few weeks. Here are some of the highlights:

~ My sister got engaged yesterday. And I had the honour of representing the family during the ceremony (jadi wakil for my family ler kiranya......what an experience). I even recited a couple pantun. Adik & Ayoi...the pantun are now forever etched in cyberspace. Here they go:

  • Ayoi pemain bola handalan
  • Julie pula cikgu sekolah kebangsaan
  • Apa yang dihajat sudah dibuat perjanjian
  • Sama-sama berdoa jadi kenyataan

  •  Dari Kuala Pilah hajat dibawa
  • Kami di Puchong sudah menerima
  • Hidangan ala kadar telah tersedia
  • Sama-sama kita menjamu selera
I had a buzzing headache leading to the occasion, but it was completely gone shortly after the ring was put on her finger. Another wonderful side effect of stress I guess.  Congrats adik....

~ My rugby team lost in the quarter final of a tournament despite performing splendidly in opening round. Struggled initially to come up with something positive out of the bitter experience......but now I'm as eager and as hungry as ever (can only indulge in self pity for so long right...?).

~ Overwhelmed with work.....and I like the feeling of being productive. Stress....that's a given.

~ Had a personal encounter with one of the ugliest sides of human behaviour.....EGO. My God.....some people just have it in abundance.

~ Similarly, ignorance sometimes is not a bliss....especially when it's coupled with EGO.  Ignorance + EGO = Recipe for disaster.  Some people sure found it the hard way.

~ Discovered that a simple diversion (in my case realising that Liverpool is my Grandad's favourite team....never knew that) could do wonders when you least expect it.

~ Children say the funniest things.....aren't they the greatest.

~ Haven't played much I'm wallowing in self pity:).

~ Mesmerised by the little things.....a beautiful sunset, a quiet afternoon by a river, my children's innocence, brilliant talks, sincerity...

~ Got myself a Blackberry today.......don’t even know how to use it. The new Celcom Executive Plan will only be effective in a few days and I’ll be away till Thursday....good execuse to wait till the weekend to play with it. Facebook on the go, and no more excuse for not reading an email sent to that a good thing? I’ll soon find out.

It’s way past 1am and I’m due to travel at 5.30am tomorrow. I guess 3 hours of sleep should I want to always be positive but sometimes it’s not that easy....I’m lethargic, but my spirit is still pretty high....Alhamdulillah