THE 63rd Sikh Festival of Sports, which kicks off in Johor Baru today, is set to be a platform for the community to unearth sporting talents.
The Johor Sikh Sports Club president Datuk Dr Harjit Singh said the four-day festival would help spot, nurture and discover new talents to perform at national level one day.
“The main objective of the festival, since the inaugural event in 1951, has always been to keep the Sikh community interested in sports. Since then, so many sports personalities from the community have gone on to represent the country.
“The more famous ones include Santokh Singh and Serbegeth Singh in football, as well as Sarjit Singh and Kelvinder Singh in hockey.
“We have Sikhs who have done Malaysia proud in athletics, too. Names like Ramjit Singh Nairu, Baljit Singh and Sukvinder Singh.
“The aim is to get more Sikh youngsters to be active in sports. From there, possibly, their interest will grow and their talent further developed. That is why we have been keeping the festival alive,” said the former international cricket player.
The festival will feature five sports – men’s hockey at the Taman Daya Hockey stadium; football at the Mutiara Sports Complex; netball at the Johor Education Department Indoor Hall; badminton at the Mutiara Sports Complex; and golf at the Ponderosa Golf Club.
About 700 participants from all over the country are expected to take part.
Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, is scheduled to officiate at the opening ceremony at Taman Daya Hockey stadium today.