May 22, 2016
KL, May 22 - The second part of the MBSA-MSN 5-A-Side Football National Circuit 2016 was held today at Cruyff Court in Brickfields. This event was organized by the National Sports Council and Malaysian Blind Sports Association. Eight teams participated in the tournament. They were Sabah, Kelantan, Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur (represented by Gurney Training Centre), Selangor (represented by SM Pendidikan Khas Setapak) and two teams from Johor.
Each team combined two national team players with new players. The seniors guided their young counterparts in the two-day event. Saturday 21st May started with four preliminary games while Sunday 22nd May showcased the remainder followed by the semi-finals and finals. Teams that made it into the semi-finals were Kelantan, Sabah, KL and Johor. The deciding game between KL and Johor ended in a penalty shootout by KL’s Ahmad Fikri Omar hence making KL the champion of this tournament. The champion received a cash prize of RM1000 while first runner-up Johor received RM750 and second runner-up, Sabah, received RM500.
“The teams’ performances were evenly matched,” said Sunny Salesh, head coach of the national blind football team. It is during these games that coaches identify new players to be absorbed into the national team training squad. “Based on yesterday’s games, six new players were selected and will start training in two weeks’ time,” added Sunny.
All the local blind football circuits have the staunch support of Columbia Asia. Since 2013, the private healthcare company has been involved in the development of national blind football; to identify new talents and create opportunities for the players to take their game to the next level. Sponsorship include jerseys, game kits, prize money and paramedics.
Next, the national team’s mission is to retain their gold medal from last year’s Asean Para Games in Singapore. That performance raised the world ranking of the national team from number 30 to number 16. The next Asean Para Games will be held in Malaysia in 2017. ”Besides that, we have our eyes set on qualifying in the Blind Football World Cup in 2018,” says Sunny.
Among those present at the event yesterday were the CEO of Columbia Asia South East Asia Mr Kelvin Tan, Regional General Malaysia Puan Marina Engku Hatim, General Manager of Columbia Asia Hospital-Setapak Julin Ng and GM of Columbia Asia Hospital-PJ Ms Josephine Siew. The PJ hospital provided paramedics and an ambulance team on standby.
About Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd is 30% owned by the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and 70% is held by a US-based fund, the International Columbia USA LLC (ICU), which comprises over 150 individual and institutional investors.
About Columbia Asia Group of Companies International healthcare company, Columbia Asia, started its operations in 1997. Now, Columbia Asia has 28 medical facilities across Asia, with 11 in Malaysia. The company believes in setting up mid-size hospitals – between 100 to 150 beds -- built in residential areas for accessibility and efficiency, and to better serve the community. This also helps keep costs down for consumers with no compromise on healthcare quality, modern amenities and highly-trained teams of specialists and nurses. The Columbia Asia hospital model is the trend for private healthcare of the future.
For enquiries relating to Columbia Asia, please contact:
Sharifah Sakinah Aljunid
Manager – Marketing/Communications
Columbia Asia Group of Companies
+603-5632 3800 / +6012-2167 321
For enquiries relating to blind football, please contact:
National Blind Football Team