JOHOR BARU: It was a day of triple joy for Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar (MSAB) student Abdul Azis Salim in the recently concluded Johor Under-16 hockey tournament.
He will cherish the winner’s medal. He will also cherish scoring a goal in MSAB’s 5-1 win over Kluang in the final.
Stick with me: Mohd Ezwan Esa (left) was the tournament’s top scorer with 10goals while Abdul Azis Salim was named Player of the Tourname
But the one thing that Abdul Azis will cherish most for the rest of his hockey career is a RM500 Grays hockey stick – a gift from Johor Hockey Association (JHA) president Tunku Abdul Majid Idris Sultan Iskandar, who is also the deputy president of the Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF). It was his reward for being named the Player of the Tournament.
He is now the envy of his friends and will not have to go around borrowing a hockey stick anymore.
It never crossed his mind that he will be the pride owner of such a hockey stick especially when he comes from a big family of 10 and his father is only a labourer.
“There are no words that can describe my happiness. Hockey is my first love. I come from a big family and simply cannot afford such an expensive hockey stick,” said the unassuming Abdul Azis.
“Life has been tough. But it has not stopped me from giving my best, both in studies and sports,” said the Form Four student who wants to be a pilot.
“Like any other ambitious youngster, I want to don national colours. It is not going to be easy for me but I am determined to make good in my hockey and studies to realise my ambition.”
Just like Abdul Azis, Mohd Ezwan Esa, who was the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals, also wants to don national colours. Mohd Ezwan was also rewarded with a Grays hockey stick.
Mohd Ewan, who hails from Felda Aping Timur, gave up football and since switching over to hockey has no regrets. Incidentally, former national skipper S. Kuhan is their idol.
“Hockey suits me better. I have never regretted making the switch although most of the youth at Felda schemes play football. Of course I aim to play for Malaysia one day,” said 15-year-old Mohd Ezwan.