THE PERAK Sports Awards 2015/2016 was a tremendous night for all Silver State athletes, as many of them got together on a night organised to celebrate their achievements.
Held in the ballroom of Casuarina@Meru, the event was especially memorable for 26-year-old Muhammad Hakimi Ismail, who was named Best Sportsman of the year.
The national triple jumper took home a cheque of RM7,000, a trophy and a blazer in recognition of his talents.
Among some of his achievements include bagging gold medals in last year’s Singapore Open, Malaysia Open 2015, SEA Games 2015 (with a new record), as well as in the Canberra Track Classics Championship 2015.
“I’m very grateful that I was chosen for this award. I didn’t expect this because the other nominees were just as excellent in their overall achievements.
“Hopefully this would motivate my efforts in the future and bring more fame to Perak,” the Taiping-born lad told reporters after receiving his award during the ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and his consort Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, state secretary Datuk Seri Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan, state youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya and State Sports Council director Ghazali Kasim.
Hakimi said he hopes to defend his title in the upcoming SEA Games, as well as in another championships event in Kazakhstan next month.
“Triple jump is an event that requires you to push yourself beyond your own limits every day, and this includes in your daily training routine.
“Once you can achieve running a certain distance in 10 seconds, your next goal should be how you can achieve the same distance in 9 seconds.
“You have to constantly strive to improve everything, from your performance, to the timing, and your mindset,” he said, adding that every training day presents a new challenge to him.
As the triple jump is an event that involves a great deal of force and impact, Hakimi said he has to be prepared for lots of injuries in training.
“I have been injured four to five times myself and sometimes, this is something that can stop an athlete from progressing further.
“The recovery process is just as important as the training. You need to be smart about it too otherwise you could give up due to injuries,” he said.
Apart from Hakimi, diver Cheong Jun Hoong, whose most notable achievement was winning silver at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year, shared the spotlight during the ceremony.
The 27-year-old Ipoh-born lass was named Best Sportswoman of the year.
As she is currently undergoing training in China, Jun Hoong’s sister Jun Yeng, 24, walked up the stage to receive the trophy and cheque of RM7,000 on her behalf.
“My sister couldn’t be here today, but I’m sure that she would be happy to know that she won the award here tonight.
“This is the first recognition she has received from the state. My family and I are all very proud of her,” said Jun Yeng, adding that she would tell her sister about her win later that night.
She also said Jun Hoong is currently busy preparing for two big competitions this year, one of which is the coming SEA Games. .
“I’m positive that my sister will be able to pull through and achieve another amazing win,” she said.
Other awards handed during the event were Best Young Sportsman and Best Young Sportswoman, which went to 20-year-olds Ahmad Khusyairi Abdul Razak and Noor Eewan Syafiqah Mohd Sabri, respectively.
Ahmad Khusyairi participates in shooting, and Noor Eewan in athletics.
Besides this, the men’s football team that took part in Sukma Sarawak 2016, clinching gold, and the women’s 4x100m team that took part in the same games, won the Special Excellence Award.
The women’s 4x100m team clinched gold and broke the tournament’s record in a time of 46.43 seconds.
The Best Team Award went to Perak’s rugby team, who clinched gold medals in the Agong Cup Rugby Tournament, Kejohanan Ragbi 7 Sebelah Kebangsaan, Taiping Rubgy Tournament and Silver Gaurus Rugby Tournament.
The award for Best Coach went to K. Jayabalan, 70, whose athletics coaching career spanned 34 years from 1981 to 2015.
The list of illustrious Perak athletes who took part in international sporting events under his coaching includes Josephine Mary, Samson Vallabouy, Oon Yee Chan, Royati Omar, Rathna Devi Nadaraja, Carol Lucia Alfred, Amran Raj Krishnan, and Thiban Subramaniam.
Fellow coach and athletics facilitator Tang Choo Mong, 72, won the Sports Leadership Award for his contributions to the state and the country since 1975.
Shirley Chow Chew Chun, a 67-year-old former tenpin bowler, was named the recipient of the Appreciation Award.
During her prime, she won gold medals in the China Open 1993, Singapore SEA Games 1993, China Open 1992, the Philippines SEA Games 1991, China Open 1991.
The Athletic Family Award went to 57-year-old Badrul Hamidi Gam’s family for his two daughters’ active involvement in tenpin bowling.
Syaidatul Afyna, 24, is a state bowler while Syaidatul Afifah, 25, is a national bowler who has brought glory to the country through numereous victories in tournaments.
Meanwhile, Perak FM’s producer Saiful Nawab Sabran was given the Media Award for his Sukma event reports on Perak athletes between 2000 and 2016, among other contributions.
In his speech, Shahrul Zaman said the Perak Sports Awards aim to convey the state’s appreciation and recognition to the achievements and sacrifices of athletes, sports enthusiasts and sports associations for their services and leadership.
“There were a total of 52 nominees for all the award categories before we had to shortlist them.
“Since we started this ceremony in 1998, we have given recognition to many athletes especially those who have been competing at the international level.
“This shows that Perak is among the powerhouse in the country for athletes and I hope to see more up-and-coming talented youths rise to bring glory to Perak and Malaysia in the future,” he said.