Paulian Hockey Fund

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10 February 2021

 

To: Old Paulians

 

Greetings and Happy New Year from the Old Paulians’ Association (OPA).

May 2021 shower all of you with new happiness, new goals, new achievements, and new inspirations.

 

OPA is starting the year with an exciting project aimed at the revival of St. Paul’s Institution (SPI) as a hockey powerhouse.

 

The Seremban school once stood apart from others in the sport and produced towering players. Today, its supremacy has taken a slight dip, although still doing well at district level.

 

The progress of hockey in the school of late has also been hindered by financial constraints.

 

The school’s Under-18 team is being run on a shoestring budget, dependent on gracious donors.

 

OPA has undertaken an initiative, ‘Paulian Hockey Fund’, to help SPI become a defining power in schools hockey once again.

 

The ‘Paulian Hockey Fund’ is to:

● Prepare the school teams for each hockey season.

● Pay for rental of the artificial turf at Stadium Hoki Seremban.

● Provide food and transport subsidies to the players.

● Purchase essential training and match equipment.

● Finance tuition for players who need help with their studies.

 

An initial amount of RM 10,000 a year has been targeted to support the team that has been deprived of financial aid in recent years. A proper coaching system is also needed for genuine growth. The school progressed positively from 2011 to 2017, thanks to an Old Paulian who donated a substantial amount for sport development. The funds have been depleted since 2017 and now it is time for a rebuilding exercise.

 

While substantial sponsorship would be ideal, we realize that may not be viable given the current economic situation blighted by Covid-19.

 

Since there is uncertainty over when normality will return, we would be humbled if Old Paulians could help lift the gloom over the hockey team by making contributions to this noble cause.

 

Any amount of contribution from Old Paulians will make this fundraiser more meaningful and effective. After all, it is your alma mater, your team.

 

We are confident that the team will be inspired by the efforts of past students to bring back the glory days.

 

The team will benefit from the guidance of former students who shone in the national and international hockey arenas.

 

We also hope that with such expertise, SPI would be able to play in the annual Negeri Sembilan hockey league in addition to the school tournaments.

 

The team has in recent years been somewhat rickety in terms of performance, financial support and training facilities.

 

If teams from the 60s, 70s and 80s had been capable of rushing its fences, we have not produced a single national since Lawrence Steven (Class of 95) had a brief spell with the Malaysian squad.

 

While SPI emerged as 2020 Seremban 1 district champions, they need to constantly challenge the other top schools at state level.

 

To provide that challenge, training has to be conducted at the Federation of International Hockey-approved artificial turf at Stadium Hoki Seremban. And that requires money for rental of the pitch.

 

While part of the training could be done at the primary school mini-turf, players have to be conditioned at a standard artificial turf to prepare for tournaments.

 

The trend of boarding schools committing much to hockey is also another testing factor.

 

Obviously, we cannot match the facilities of the state sports school that have their own artificial turf.

 

These schools continue to attract top players to stay and study there, and we have even lost a promising goalkeeper to one of them.

 

Still, there must be hope, not least among those Old Paulians who remember what it was to have a championship winning team that grew up before their own eyes.

 

The ‘Paulian Hockey Fund’ was mooted by old boys, Adrian Van Huizen (Class of 80), Nantha Sabahnanthan (Class of 94) , Vijayan Ramanjulu (Class of 94) and Taranjit Singh (Class of 97).

 

Stephen Van Huizen, an ex Olympian and national coach, who is part of the montage of Paulians of the golden past who became Malaysian hockey heroes, has agreed to help on a voluntary basis whenever time permits.

 

Kon Chen Choong, another Old Paulian, with vast experience in the game, and a former coach and teacher at the Bukit Jalil Sports school has also expressed his interest in contributing on a voluntary basis.

 

There are other old boys who have also expressed interest in helping with coaching.

 

These former players made the school proud by winning state honours and some going on to represent the state and nation. They held the school motto, ‘Virtute et Labore’ (Virtue and Labour) high and gave us dreams.

 

Their commitment to courage, humility, and patience are virtues to be revered.

 

We are hopeful that the present players and those after them will strive to adopt the indomitable spirit of these icons and carry on a proud tradition.

 

We are all in this journey to sporting excellence together. A new dimension in hockey is a possibility not a wild hope.

 

We thank you for your kind cooperation and generous support toward this initiative and look forward to an encouraging relationship.

 

Kindly make donations by direct deposit into the Old Paulians’ Association bank account:

OCBC Bank Account 7401100119. (Payee Reference: Hockey Fund) and send your receipt to opa@paulians.my.

 

 

Yours in the love of hockey 

 

Steven Chan Weng Choy

OPA President