Francis (centre) and Perampalam (third from left) at the groundbreaking ceremony.
AFTER losing their home 35 years ago, Tamilians Physical Cultural Association (TPCA) will finally have a clubhouse with sports facilities.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at its new location in Saujana Impian, Kajang. The 1ha site will have a cricket oval and two football pitches.
TPCA president Edwin Francis said it was an auspicious event as they would be able to play a role in the development and promotion of sports at the grassroots level.
“TPCA were pioneers in sports in the country since its inception in 1914. But we were homeless since 1982.
“Now, with the groundbreaking ceremony, we are looking ahead with optimism. If everything goes as planned, we should have a home in six months,’’ said Francis.
TPCA members and supporters were present at the ceremony. They were given a tour of the site and Edwin briefed the members on the upcoming development.
“The members longed for TPCA to have its own sports facilities again. Despite the prolonged period of not having a home, TPCA showed great tenacity in keeping with the motto – Forward We Move – and the ground breaking ceremony was a fulfilment of the long journey.
“The new facilities will be of international standard. The main football field will be according to FIFA specifications. Once the venue is ready, TPCA will be initiating junior development programmes for football, hockey and cricket. TPCA will be the site of our future sports champions,’’ said Francis.
Former TPCA president S. Perampalam, former deputy presidents Datuk G. Vijayananthan, S. Jahendran and K.J. Singam were among those present at the ceremony.
TPCA lost their building and facilitiesat Jalan Raja Muda in 1982 when the government took it over.
They were paid RM1.2mil for the building but not compensated for the land.
The field at TPCA was considered one of the best in the country.
Several international and significant local events, including the 1975 World Cup hockey competition and Malaya Cup, before Stadium Merdeka was built, were held at TPCA.
Many prominent sportsmen like football legends Datuk Santokh Singh, N. Thana-balan, Datuk Mokhtar Dahari and Datuk M. Chandran trained at TPCA. Hockey stars Khairuddin Zainal, Datuk Sri Shanmu-ganathan and Vijayananthan represented TPCA in many competitions.
Several TPCA members also served as principal officials with the Football Association of Malaysia, Malaysian Hockey Association and Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union and Olympic Council of Malaysia.
TPCA were the founding members of the Selangor Hockey Association (SHA) and Football Association of Selangor (FAS).
Despite being without a home, TPCA organised several programmes for badminton, hockey, cricket, football and netball.
TPCA are also active in the SHA and FAS leagues. In the FAS league, TPCA qualified for the semi-finals in Division One this season.
Francis said their vision and aim was to engage local coaches and create sports academies.
“TPCA has a proven track record and with proper facilities, we can achieve excellence. We just need to be given a chance.
“Owning a sports facility, which is rare these days given the scarcity of playing fields, gives TPCA the perfect opportunity to execute this revival,” added Francis.