The Kelantan delegation of pharmacists reigned supreme at the inaugural World Pharmacists Day (WPD) Games after emerging champions in the inter-state multi-sport event.
Over 2,000 participants comprising pharmacists, pharmacy employers, employees and pharmacy students from every state converged for a weekend of friendly competition featuring events for athletics, badminton, bowling, football, netball, table tennis and volleyball.
Held at the Panasonic National Sports Centre and Ole Ole Super Bowl in Shah Alam, the WPD Games was jointly organised by the Malaysian Community Pharmacy Guild (MCPG) and the Health Ministry’s Pharmaceutical Services Division.
It was held in conjunction with World Pharmacists Day 2017 on Sept 25 to celebrate the contributions made by the profession to health as well as foster unity through sports.
Health Ministry Pharmaceutical Services Division senior director Dr. Salmah Bahri who launched the Games, noted the importance for pharmacists –as one of the main custodians of people’s health– to be role models of health.
She added that key to achieving this was to foster an active lifestyle and cultivate the spirit of sportsmanship through events like the WPD Games.
Last year, MCPG held its International World Pharmacists Day Convention and Run For your Health event in Penang, which was recorded as one of the largest gatherings in the industry.
MCPG president Lovy Beh said the focus this year has been on central KL to continue the momentum and spirit of the SEA Games and 9th Asean Para Games.
“This is a unique and special year for Malaysia and we want pharmacists to be shown as setting good examples for the public.
“They are always counselling patients, but if they themselves are not fit, that can be quite embarrassing.
“It is also something new and out of the ordinary for many of them who have attended conferences. It is unique because they get to have fun and collect points towards their continuing professional development.”
She said the biggest misconception about pharmacists was that they try to play the doctor’s role.
“We should not let one bad apple generalise everybody. Which is part of the reason why we are trying to project a good image of pharmacists.
“We will decide whether to make it an annual event later, but the feedback we have been receiving has been good so far,” added Beh on the favourable response generated by the WPD Games.
The closing ceremony featured a host of guests ranging from national athletes Goh Liu Ying and Leong Mun Yee to muay thai fighter Germaine Yeap and Miss Universe Malaysia 2016 Kiran Jassal.
Youth and Sports Ministry secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali, in his closing ceremony speech, congratulated the MCPG and the ministry’s Pharmaceutical Services Division for co-organising the event.
“Never have I seen any profession organising and hosting such a large-scale sporting event,” he said.
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