1Malaysia Cardiff chief executive officer Datin Vivienne Leong and Astro Malaysia Holdings chief executive officer Datuk Rohana Rozhan with the 1MCC-Astro Kem Bola participants in Cardiff City.
1MCC-Astro Kem Bola’s training programme has made it possible for 32 young Malaysian football youngsters to undergo a training programme in Cardiff City, UK, last month.
The youths, between ages 10 and 12, were trained by the professional coaches of the Cardiff City Football Club.
During the 10-day stint, the young footballers went through a holistic programme comprising football training, lessons on sportsmanship, as well as visits to schools and stadiums. The youngsters also had the chance of a lifetime to watch an English Premier League football match between Cardiff City and Liverpool during their stay.
1MCC-Astro Kem Bola is a programme initiated by Astro and 1Malaysia Cardiff City (1MCC) in 2012. It aims to provide young Malaysians with the opportunity to undergo football training by professional coaches.
The 32 students were selected from a total 2,722 boys and girls, who participated in football camps held in six states, beginning last August.
James Barnett, the head coach of 1MCC, said, “Both the boys and girls should be extremely proud of their performances whilst in Cardiff. In such a short space of time they have made big strides in their development as players and more importantly as persons.
“As a coach, it is very fulfilling to see the progress of all the players. I hope that the children will share their experiences and new found knowledge with their friends and family, and also wish that they remember their dreams and continue to work hard to achieve them.”
The programme has also left an impact on the 32 young Malaysians, something highlighted by the team captain.
Mohd Aiman Afif Md Afizul said, “I have loved football since I was young and this trip is an historical event for me, as I was given the opportunity to train with the Cardiff City Football Club.
“I learnt so much, from technical skills, the correct way to pass a ball to how to control a ball. I will never forget this experience and the advice I received from the coaches.”
Meanwhile, Siddarsha Siva Kumar from Malacca said: “I am so proud to be among the 32 selected for the programme. I am thrilled with the interaction with the coaches, who constantly gave us guidance during training.”
This year, the 1MCC – Astro Kem BOLA programme discovered the football talent of Hellma Emily Joinin, a 12-year-old student from SK Magandai, Kota Marudu, Sabah.
Emily is one of the students staying in a hostel built under the Astro Hostel programme that enables students in remote areas to live, learn and play within a safe environment.
Emily was delighted with the experience in Cardiff City and said, “The coaches taught us many things — the need to stay focused during the game, the importance of discipline and teamwork. I wish to thank 1MCC and Astro for this precious opportunity.”