Building passion for the game

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THE vast field at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club and Country Resort in Kuala Lumpur was packed with the excited and determined faces of children, pre-teens and teenagers from Malaysia and other countries, for the KL Saracens Green Rubber International Rugby 10s 2015 which was held over the weekend. Organised by the KL Saracens Club, the event saw thousands of children and their parents, complete with their customised uniforms and banners, on the field. Undeterred by the scorching heat, the youngers aged five to 18 had a ball.

The eighth edition of the KL Saracens tournament saw participants from Brunei, Macau, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and of course Malaysia.

KL Saracens Club committee member Previndran Singhe explained that the club was formed purely for the love of the sport.

With their motto “rugby for all”, the club has over 400 registered members aged five to 18. Upon reaching the age of 18, members are allowed to join a senior member’s team.

The first edition of the tournament in 2008 saw 40 teams participating, and impressively, this eighth edition saw it hosting 159 teams comprising 2,225 participants.

Singhe adds that while KL Saracens is a non-gender biased club, the event was open only to male participants. Yet, he added there was a separate match for women yesterday, the final day of the tournament and incidentally International Women’s Day.

Though participation in the tournament was not limited to KL Saracens members only, not just anyone is invited to play; the club ensures that only premier teams are invited from other countries, similarly for local teams. Those who took part in the event were either state champions, national champions or were from premier rugby schools.

KL Saracens — previously known as Bintang Rugby Club — is a non-governmental,  non-profit organisation that relies solely on sponsorship to fund the club and tournaments.

This year’s sponsors for the tournament were Green Rubber Malaysia, Baker Hughes Sdn Bhd, Zerin Properties Sdn Bhd, Wave Tech Sdn Bhd, Mitra Energy Sdn Bhd, Global Power Services Sdn Bhd, New Bloom Sdn Bhd, Ben Line Agencies (M) Sdn Bhd, ISC Innovators Sdn Bhd, HLAP Ltd, Allied Pickfords (M) Sdn Bhd, Turcomp Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Amtech Signal Solutions, and Out of Africa Restaurant and Kudu Bar.

Singhe — a rugby fan himself —said, “We just want kids to have a good time and learn something in the process. Rugby is a great sport, especially for character development.”

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on March 9, 2015.