THE spirit of togetherness propelled the SMK Hamid Khan’s floorball team to be crowned the Penang Schools Floorball Championships 2014 boys’ Under-18 champions.
Despite the Penang schools competition for floorball not being held in 2013, Hamid Khan’s decision not to disband their team and continue training paid dividends when they surged to victory at the Balik Pulau Sports Complex on Saturday.
The Hamid Khan boys defeated the formidable St Xavier’s Institution 3-0 in the final to bag the gold medal.
Divesh Mohan set the ball rolling for Hamid Khan by breaking the deadlock before further goals by Sean Woolley and captain Zachary Choo ended the Saints’ hopes of staging a fightback.
“Despite the presence of strong teams like St Xavier’s and SMK Bukit Jambul, we managed to become champions because of our teamwork.
“We stuck together as a team even though there was no state schools competition last year. We trained as usual throughout the year and also went on a playing trip to Singapore last November. All the hard work has paid off now,” Zachary said.
The bad news for the other competing schools is that the entire Hamid Khan squad is made up of 16-year-olds, which makes them eligible to defend their title in next year’s Penang schools championships.
St Xavier’s suffered a double heartbreak when their boys’ Under-15 squad also had to play the bridesmaid role after falling 1-4 in the final to SMK Bukit Jambul.
Victory in the final was sweet for the Bukit Jambul boys as they had lost 0-1 to the Saints in the preliminary round match earlier in the day.
“Both Bukit Jambul and St Xavier’s had equally strong teams in the competition. It was our desire to exact revenge on the 0-1 preliminary round defeat which carried us to the gold medal,” said the Bukit Jambul Under-15 skipper Dhinnakharan Thanabalan.
“We were pumped up for the final and just blew away our opponents. Our confidence level was very much different from the earlier encounter against the same opponents and in the end, we won by a comfortable margin,” he added.
The SMK Bukit Jambul girls
made it a double celebration for their school by capturing the
girls’ Under-18 title with a 2-1
final victory over Methodist Girls School (MGS).
Just like their Under-15 boys counterparts, the Bukit Jambul girls had also lost to their opponents earlier in the competition before turning the tables in the final.
Nur Aainaa Hussin was the toast of the Bukit Jambul girls after scoring both the goals in the final victory, to make up for their 1-4 setback to MGS in the preliminary round.
“We felt very bad after the big loss to MGS in the early round. We were determined to prove a point and I am glad that we managed to deliver in the final,” said the Bukit Jambul girls team captain Meshaleeni Segaren.
“It was a closely contested final which could have gone either way. I guess it was our determination to want the champions’ title more which helped us win in the end,” she added.
Although floorball is not one of the sports under the Education Ministry’s National Schools Sports Council calendar, there was a major breakthrough this year as the Penang schools competition was supported by the Penang Sports Council.
“I am happy to see the Penang Sports Council coming aboard to help us develop floorball in the state. We hope to have a great long-term partnership with the council to continue the progress of floorball, especially at the school level,” said Penang Floorball Association secretary Christopher Koh.
Boys Under-18: SMK Hamid Khan bt St Xavier’s Institution 3-0.
Under-15: SMK Bukit Jambul bt St Xavier’s Institution 4-1.
Girls Under-18: SMK Bukit Jambul bt Methodist Girls School 2-1.