King, Queen grace Sports Flame event to commemorate services of ex-athletes

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah graced the Sports Flame gala event that brought together former national athletes here today.

His Majesty was accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

The event commemorated the services of 177 national sports icons from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Apart from the high tea reception, the royal couple mingled warmingly with guests by visiting each table and posing for photographs with several former national athletes.

The king, in his brief speech, reminded the former athletes to take care of themselves and to always be around their families.

"As we are getting older by the day, please take care of your health and please make sure (your) children or grandchildren are always with you," His Majesty said.

Sports Flame, organised since 2011, is a joint initiative involving four former national sports journalists - Datuk Lazarus Rokk, Datuk George Das, Datuk Fauzi Omar and R. Velu - in collaboration with a local portal (Free Malaysia Today) for this year's edition.

Among the former athletes present were Datuk Santokh Singh and Reduan Abdullah (football); Datuk James Selvaraj (badminton); G. Shanti (sprinter); and Stephen van Huizen (hockey).

Meanwhile, Sports Flame co-founder Lazarus said that apart from showing their appreciation to the former athletes, the event was also an opportunity for them to bid farewell to His Majesty, who will end his tenure as the nation's 16th the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 30 next year.

"This event is like a farewell to you from the sports fraternity. The best King and Queen ever," he said.– BERNAMA

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