By Iskandar Patra
For the first time ever since its inception a few years ago, IIUM has been invited this year to participate in the Sukan Anak Borneo 2019 (SUKAB’19) championship.
This event has been organised annually by the Persatuan Mahasiswa/i Sarawak UKM (PEMASRA), in collaboration with Kelab Kepimpinan Highlanders (KKH), at Pusat Sukan Kolej Tun Hussein Onn, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Bangi.
Six categories of sports have been contested in this championship, namely, Futsal (Men & Women), Volleyball (Men & Women), Netball (Women), and Sepak Takraw (Men).
For this, the IIUM Kenyalang Union (IKON) and Ikatan Anak-Anak Sabah (IKAS) via Kelab Sahabat Anak Malaysia (KSAM), under the banner of IIUM, had responded by sending a team of 50 players and supporters to participate in this championship.
Interestingly, this first-time participation by the IIUM team was not only joined by partiicipants from Gombak campus, but also supported by Foundation students from Gambang campus, sending the message that studying in different campuses did not stop the ukhuwwah among participants in IIUM.
A three-week intensive preparation has been conducted with commitment and dedication showed by the participants, regardless of having packed schedule and faced with fatigues, despite some of them may never had the experience participating in the inter-varsity sports tournament such as SUKAB’19.
In this championship, although IIUM did not bring home any medal, yet this great team was never an easy team to beat, and was seen as a great competitor to other senior varsities’ teams (which are more established and well prepared for this tournament), although being the first-timer in the league. Even the rain, which continuously poured over the UKM soil throughout the day, was unable to stop IIUM team’s fiery spirit in the sports court.
Commenting on performance by IIUM’s team, Muhammad Nur Syafiq Wong who was the team manager said, “I am delighted and proud to have such a great and committed team. It’s not an easy path for us.”
“We may not have won any medal for today, but we have won the spectators’ hearts for being a great competitor to others, and with the fact that this is our very first participation. So, no one had expected that we will offer them our best sportsmen spirit.”
“Like what the players always said, if we’re going to lose, let’s lose dramatically, stylishly on their court!”
Syafiq also took the opportunity to congratulate and recorded his appreciations to all, especially the IIUM team players and supporters, who came all along with a big heart from day one of SUKAB’19’s campaign until the end.
With IIUM’s participation in this championship, it is seen as the best benchmark for IIUM to emphasise further on the inter-campus engagements between students in the whole IIUM to strengthen the ukhuwwah which has been intertwined since IIUM’s establishment in 1983.
Furthermore, it was also observed to be a good platform to ensure that the wise vision of IIUM – “IIICE” – and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved in a balanced and holistic manner among students throughout the IIUM campuses.
In this championship, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)’s team was crowned as the overall champion, followed by Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM) as the first runner-up, and Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS) in third place.
I cannot agree more with the spirit of IIUM, which our participants have instilled in their soul. Their commitments are the best, even though most of them were struggling with submission of assignments at the end of the semester. Overall, I am deeply touched by their sacrifices – those from Gambang came to Gombak to support the course, and of course, the training they had during most evenings at the Female Sport Complex.
May the best be with them in their life! ***
(Ps. “UIA… Yak Yak Yeayyy!!!” was (and will be continued, InsyaAllah) the cheers created impromptu by the #TeamIIUM on the day of the programme.)