Sikhs gathering in Johor for annual sporting event

Royal guest: Sultan Ibrahim posing together with Onn Hafiz (fourth from right), senior state government officials and Sikh leaders at the 71st Gurdwara Cup opening ceremony in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Some 1,500 participants from the Sikh community are coming together for an annual sporting event observed by them for decades.

The participants from nine states and Singapore will be involved in an array of games such as hockey, football, badminton, netball and golf.

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar launched the event, dubbed the 71st Gurdwara Cup & Sikh Festival of Sports, at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here yesterday.

The Gurdwara Cup, first introduced in 1949, is one of the oldest sporting events in the country which aims to unite Sikhs in Malaysia and Singapore through sports.

Sultan Ibrahim was greeted by the sound of bagpipes played by the Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band on his arrival at the stadium.

The Kuala Lumpur-based band won the World Pipe Band Championship (Grade 4B Category) in Scotland in 2019 and is the world’s largest Sikh bagpipe band.

Johor Sikhs Sports Club (JSSC) patron Datuk Avinderjit Singh thanked Sultan Ibrahim for launching the annual event.

“This is the second time the Johor Ruler has launched the event. Johor last hosted this event in 2014,” he said.

He added that the event has been organised annually over the past 71 years.

He said Johor’s Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim will be attending the Gurdwara Cup dinner tomorrow.

Johor contingent chef d’mission Balbeer Jessy said it was an honour for the state to host the event after nine years.

“We have made meticulous preparations to cater to the 1,500 players and officials involved in the event,” he said, adding that the Johor team had trained for at least six months.

He said Johor got off to a good start by beating Singapore 4-3 in a hockey match, adding that Johor was the defending joint champions in the sport.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and State Secretary Tan Sri Azmi Rohani.

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Sikh , community , sporting event


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