By Philip John Siow, class of 1948, (Founder Committee Member)
OPA-SPI Games Carnival 2016
The OPA-SPI 2016 Annual Games Carnival was held on the 6th August 2016 in SMK St Paul. Instead of the normal 7 games, only 6 games was played this year to determine the Champion of Champion “Mr. Ng Yee Tim Challenge Trophy”. The reason was due to the fact that the SPI school hockey team was currently participating in the Negeri Sembilan League and they were not able to come up with a suitable date for the game. Nevertheless a total of 150 players signed up for the other games. Squash was played a week prior to the event with Royal Sungai Ujong Club and Badminton was played a day earlier in Ma Hwa Hall in Rasah. Prior to the games, a planning meeting was held in the school on the 1st July 2016 with the OPA Sports Chairman, Mr Steven Chan, OPA Honoary Secretary, Mr. Lee Kok Keong, the school principal, Puan Lucy Ratnam, Senior Assistant (co-curriculum) Puan Shantini Lingam and Mr. Subramanian Rathnam.
In conjunction with OPA 90th anniversary, it was decided to add some glamour to the event. Champion Trophies of all the individual games were replaced with new trophies. This was made possible with generous sponsors coming forward to donate a trophy for each individual game. The donors were: the OPA President Mr David Wee for badminton, Dato Edwin Sebastian Abraham for Basketball, Dato M Ramalingam for Football, The Late Dato Joseph R Menezes, for hockey, Mr. Ricky Ng Say Kah for Squash, Mr. Lim Lek Yan for Table Tennis and Mr John Chia for Volleyball.
In the game of Squash, OPA unexpectedly created an upset over SPI, winning with a score of 4 -1, very much thanks to the new inclusion of “hard-hitting” Tan Kok Yang as well as the absence of 2 core players from SPI who had transferred to Matrix International and were now technically, old Paulians. However both of them did not participate as they were engaged in another tournament.
Badminton drew the highest number of participants with 37 players signing up. OPA’s non-playing captain, Loh Yah Shang had a tough time juggling a team comprising young and old players to take on SPI. At the same time a few other courts were opened to enable the rest to have friendly matches among themselves. In the fight for honour, OPA trashed the younger SPI team with a score of 5 – 2. It must be noted that the “senior citizens pairs” comprising Sunny Nunis & Francis Singh scored the winning point for OPA.
On the morning of August 6th 2016, the main day of the event, there was a hive of activity in the school field. Scores of old boys lined up to sign up to participate and the younger Paulians were busy warming up in the field to prepare themselves to take on the old boys. In the table tennis event, SPI took their first point after thrashing OPA 4-1, In the absence of the Hereira duo, the OPA team looked like novices, but in the spirit of sportsmanship, they persevered through to the end.
The football game was evenly matched and the score could have gone either way. However, SPI lost to the much seasoned OPA team with the score of 3-2. Tension was high especially when the score was tie at 2-2, but under the helm of the experienced referee the situation was kept under control.
OPA continued their winning streak as they took another point from Basketball with a slim win over SPI with a score of 52-45. Lead by a new captain, the very enthusiastic Sean, OPA put up a very thrilling fight and was jumping, cheering and celebrating with high fives each time their team found the net. With this win, SPI had to concede defeat as the winning point was enough for OPA to be declared the overall champion and winner of the “Mr. Ng Yee Tim Challenge Trophy”.
On the adjacent court, the Volleyball match was being played simultaneously. SPI started the match strongly winning both sets narrowly to beat OPA by a score of 2-0. Thus a consolation point for SPI.
The full results of the games are as below:
i. Squash OPA won 4 – 1
ii. Badminton OPA won 5 - 2
iii. Basketball OPA won 52 - 45
iv. Table Tennis SPI won 4 – 1
v. Football OPA won 3 – 2
vi. Volleyball SPI won 2 - 0
Congratulations to OPA on winning the “Mr. Ng Yee Tim Challenge Trophy” for the second year back to back. OPA Captain Mr. Yam Kait Wah received the champion trophy from Mr. Ng Yee Tim on the night of the annual dinner.
Compiled By Steven Chan
Vice President cum OPA Sports Chairman