Friday, January 16, 2015

Tackling social issues through sport

Well done: Rajagopal (centre) presenting medals to the winning players at the event.
Well done: Rajagopal (centre) presenting medals to the winning players at the event.

Former Malaysian national team coach Datuk K. Rajagopal’s presence at the Education, Welfare and Research Foundation Malaysia (EWRF) futsal carnival was an inspiration to attending players and students.

Rajagopal drew a loud applause when he was called to give a speech.
He advised students to take advantage of the opportunity of foundations such as EWRF that emphasised on sports and education for underachievers.

“What EWRF is doing is very good for the community and society, as it addresses the social and academic issues of Indian students. There should be more programmes like this to help the community,’’ he said.

Students also took the opportunity to take photographs with him as he has always been an inspiration to the young, especially after taking the national team to great heights when the team coached by him won the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2010.

The carnival, held at White Fairy Sports Sdn Bhd in Taman Kinrara, Puchong, recently, was a huge success, reaching out to about 78 students from 10 different centres.

EWRF Malaysia president Rajasegaran Thevaraj said the alarming incidences of crime committed by youths these days have made EWRF review its focus.

He said students faced serious social problems and the number of those who dropped out of school had risen, corresponding with the rise in juvenile and criminal activities.

“Our programme which incorporates sport activities such as futsal under the Civil Society Intervention (CSI) programme is designed to address the social behaviour and education level of underachievers. Over the years, we have helped thousands of people from the community.

“EWRF has 23 branches nationwide with more than 3,000 volunteers and members.

“The students here today come from various states. They were divided into different groups and were all mixed up so that so all of them could develop as a team.

“They were divided into teams such as Brazil, Columbia, Malaysia,’’ he said.

During the carnival, team Brazil beat team Portugal 4-1 to emerge as the champions while Columbia beat Nigeria 3-1 to finish third.

The first four finishers received medals for their achievements.

 by Stuart Michael - The Star

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