UNIVERSAL Fitness and Leisure (UFL) are committed towards providing job opportunities to sportsmen and sportswomen.
It is with this vision, that UFL have come forward to sponsor two football players — Muhammad Fauzi Abdul Kadar and S. Saravanakumar — currently playing for Malaysian Indian Sports Council-Malaysian Indian Football Association (MISC-MIFA) in the ongoing FAM Cup competition.
UFL managing director Datuk V. Radhakrishnan said they had several former and current internationals on their payroll.
“We always believe that sportsmen and sportswomen, who had brought glory to the nation, should be given opportunities to be part of the sporting industry.
“We started this initiative about 20 years ago. We had funded sports associations as well as organised events. UFL had also played an active role in the promotion of lawn bowls and gymnastics in schools,” he said.
But their biggest accomplishment was giving job opportunities to sportsmen and sportswomen. He said it had been encouraging and they were proud to have many sportsmen and sportswomen in their fold.
“Likewise, we are looking at creating a career for Muhammad Fauzi and Saravanakumar after their stint with MISC-MIFA ends. For a start, we would be happy if they can join us regularly to play a role in our promotional programmes.
“They should take the opportunity to learn the trade. We are prepared to guide them with training,’’ said Radhakrishnan after a signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, recently.
UFL, a distributor of outdoor and lifestyle products in Malaysia, have former national body builder Datuk Malek Noor as the executive director.
The other sportsmen and sportswomen with UFL are football player Christoper Peter, archer S. Anbarasai, squash player P. Yogeswaran and Norcigi Ismail, a lawn bowler. Former international athletes S. Muthiah and Ishtiaq Mobarak, who passed away last year, and archer Tan Peng Loon were also employees of UFL before embarking on a career in coaching.
Muthiah is currently a coach at the National Sports Council (NSC) while Peng Loon has ventured into coaching at grassroots.
Deputy Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan, who witnessed the signing ceremony between UFL and MIFA, praised UFL for their vision.
“I was impressed with Malek Noor’s rise in UFL. Several other sportsmen and sportswomen have also made a name for themselves in the sporting industry. UFL have shown a good path for them. We hope to see more firms coming forward to provide job opportunities to not only former internationals but also current sportsmen and sportswomen.
“Likewise, we would like to see Muhammad Fauzi and Saravanakumar benefit from their attachment with UFL,’’ said Saravanan.
MIFA president Datuk T. Mohan said they were grateful to UFL and Radhakrishnan for supporting their ambitions.
“They were receptive to our proposal as they also shared our vision. The players were also keen to pursue a career in business after their football playing career. We will certainly encourage the players to be part of UFL,’’ said Mohan.
Saravanakumar and Muhammad Fauzi said they were happy to be given the chance to be part of UFL.
“We thank MIFA for making it possible. It is an excellent opportunity for us to learn about the trade. It will come handy after our playing stints,’’ said Saravanakumar.