PETALING JAYA: This Oct 12, YouTuber Jinnyboy will be facing one of his most unusual challenges yet: a blind football match, which will be held at the launch of Bulan Sukan Negara (National Sports Month).
The star will be joined by other top Malaysian celebrities like actress Ummi Nazeera, comedian Harith Iskander and Ola Bola star Marianne Tan at the Eye On The Ball: Bola Buta Challenge, which will pit celebrities - and the public - against the Malaysian blind football team.
Members of the public can also take part in friendly matches, activities, and giveaways at the full-day event, organised by The Star’s R.AGE team.
“I’m looking forward to a sense of community (at the event), ” said Jinnyboy. “I want to meet the blind football players and the other people involved in this project!”
The Bola Buta Challenge is being held in conjunction with Eye On The Ball, the first cinema film by the award-winning R.AGE team and presented by Star Media Group and CIMB Foundation. It is set to be released in Malaysian cinemas this December.
Directed by R.AGE producer and filmmaker Chen Yih Wen, the film follows the inspiring story of the blind football team, nicknamed "Harimau Buta" and their uphill battle to qualify for the World Cup of blind football.
The Eye On The Ball campaign is sponsored by Star Media Group and CIMB Foundation, which has been the biggest supporter of the blind football community since it began.
Here, Jinnyboy shares his thoughts on the blind and disabled communities, and celebrities' role in helping create a more equal society.
WATCH: Join the Eye On The Ball: Bola Buta Challenge!
What stood out for you the most when you heard about the Malaysian blind football team?
When I first heard about them, I was like “What do you mean, blind footballers?”.
But now that I’ve learned more about them and their struggles, I think these guys are pretty much the perfect role models to anyone who has ever doubted themselves.
They’re visually impaired, but still going out and doing what they love, doing something nobody would expect - they aren’t letting anything hold them back and that’s an inspiration. They are the best example of never giving up on your dreams, as cliche as that sounds.
What made you want to participate in the Bola Buta Challenge?
I’ve heard that they’ve lost their full-time status as athletes - but what impresses me is that despite their disability and current position (as part-timers), there’s an eagerness and passion to compete on a professional level.
That’s why I’m eager to participate in the challenge - we take life for granted sometimes, and sometimes fail to see that there are people really struggling to succeed, despite facing many other challenges.
How do you think you’ll fare against the team?
I hope I can actually play because I’m really bad at football! I was on the school team in Standard Six, but I only played one position - the bench position.
Do you think celebrities play a role in helping raise awareness on the struggles people with disabilities face?
Of course! Instead of just enjoying a luxurious life, celebrities should use their success to give back to society and help those in need. Instead of having people look at their lives and clothes, they should be helping create a more equal society.
What can the average Malaysian do?
I hope everybody comes to the launch and tries to understand where the players are coming from - who they are, and what they’re going through. Being there shows at least some emotional support so the team knows there are people who are there for them. The idea is to give them some hope. The boys are fighting so hard, giving them some encouragement is the least I can do.
Join Jinnyboy and other Eye On The Ball celebrity supporters at the Bola Buta Challenge on October 12, Bukit Jalil Stadium.
Admission is free, with free giveaways on a first come first serve basis. Click here to find out more: bit.ly/bbc_bsn
*The Eye On The Ball campaign is sponsored by Star Media Group and CIMB Foundation. CIMB Foundation has been of the biggest supporters of the blind football community since it was established.
Eye On The Ball is a campaign by Star Media Group, R.AGE and CIMB Foundation to support the Malaysian blind football community. Find out more at www.eyeontheballfilm.com.