KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah’s Velayuthan Tan (pic) has created history by becoming the first Malaysian to be elected as the Asia Rugby vice-president.
The council meeting was held in Bali last week and the new exco members were elected for the term from 2019 to 2021.
United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Qais Al-Dhalai was elected as the president, succeeding Aga Hussain of India.
Pakistan’s Fawzi Khawaja was also re-elected as vice-president alongside the 65-year-old Velayuthan, who has been an Asia Rugby council member for the last two years from 2017-2019.
Velayuthan, the honorary vice-president of Malaysian Rugby, said he was honoured to be the first Malaysian to hold the post.
“It is a boost for rugby in Malaysia,” said Velayuthan, who has been the Sabah Rugby Association president for the last 17 years.
He said that with him being the vice-president, Malaysia may be hosting international tournaments next year.
“We (Malaysia) have been hosting the annual Asia Under-20 tournament in Johor every year and want Malaysia to host another international meet. But it all depends on whether we have the funds to do it,” said Velayuthan.
Velayuthan founded the Eagles Rugby Club in Sandakan 12 years ago and they have their own stadium with two pitches, and high performance facilities like warehouse fitness centre, dormitories and circuit training equipment.
Eagles Club organise the Borneo Sevens International rugby tournament every year. The national team also train at the club.
Eagles Club also do their part in grassroots development by organising kids’ camps every year. Sabah are also a powerhouse in local rugby, having won the Agong’s Cup five times.
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