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GREAT SHOW: 26 Tamil schools battle for Datuk PK Subbaiyah Challenge Trophy
BUTTERWORTH: ABOUT 1,000 people, including 390 pupils from 26 Tamil schools, their parents, siblings, headmasters and headmistress, teachers, coaches and supporters crammed the Seberang Perai Municipal Council public field in Jalan St Mark for the Datuk PK Subbaiyah Challenge Trophy football tournament recently.
It was a carnival like atmosphere as the children, aged between 10 and 12, mingled freely in the annual meet,
The Inter Tamil Schools Boys' Under-12 nine-a-side football tournament was jointly organised by the State MIC Youth, Penang Indian Football Association (PIFA) and the Penang Tamil Schools Headmasters Council.
Organising chairman J. Dhinagaran said this was the fourth consecutive year that the tournament was being organised for Tamil schools where 26 of the total 28 Tamil schools in the state participated.
Dhinagaran said it was heartening to note that Tamil school players are now well attired as compared to a few years back which indicated the dedication of those supporting them.
"By hosting this tournament, we encourage the schools to train their pupils and get prepared for this competition.
"In order to see more Indians playing football at a higher level, MIFA (Malaysian Indian Football Association) is in the midst of forming a team to play in the Malaysian League," he said.
Present were Datin S. Vallini Subbaiyah, Barisan Nasional Bagan Dalam convenor M. Karupannan, state education department Tamil Schools organiser V. Kalidass and Penang Tamil Schools Headmasters Council chairman A.N. Veerasamy.
Dhinagaran, who is also PIFA president, said the champions and runners-up of the tournament would be given further training and get them prepared for the national level competition, hosted by the Malaysian Indian Football Association.
He said by getting young children involved in sports, the Indian community would be rid of unwanted elements.
Meanwhile, in the one-day nine-a-side tournament, SJK (T) Bukit Mertajam defied the odds to clinch the challenge trophy for the first time.
A brace by G. Raviraj enabled SJK (T) Bukit Mertajam to beat SJK (T) Tasek Permai 2-1. L. Muniswaran netted the solitary goal for SJK(T) Tasek Permai.
SJK(T) Bukit Mertajam and SJK(T) Tasek Permai will represent the state at the national level Tamil schools football challenge in Kuala Lumpur.
Roll of Honour -- Top Scorer: G. Raviraj (SJK(T) Bukit Mertajam)
Best Player: S. Herrveen Rajan (SJK(T) Tasek Permai)