Kuala Lumpur, Thursday 17th February, 2011
Malaysian rugby fans will be at Kuala Kangsar, Perak this February 26th â 27th, when The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) plays host to 23 schools from all over the country including one school from Thailand for the inaugural âMCKK Premier 7s Powered by DiGiâ rugby tournament. The tournament will see premier rugby schools placed in eight groups of three; pitting their skills to compete for the NJ Ryan Trophy.
Host team, MCKK, is drawn in Group A with Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar from Johor and SMK Tinggi Melaka. Meanwhile, Group B will see Melakaâs Kolej Yayasan Saad and SMK Sultan Yahya Petra 1 from Kelantan fight it out with Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid from Kedah which is certain to put on a stellar performance.
The other Perak representative is Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman from Ipoh. They are drawn in Group C and will meet SMK Taman Kosas from Selangor and top rugby school from Terengganu, Sekolah Menengah Sains Sultan Mahmud. Sabahâs premier rugby school SMK La Salle will be in Group D with SMK King Edward VII of Taiping Perak and Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah of Putrajaya.
The tournament will also be welcoming MCKKâs traditional rugby rival Vajiravudh College from Thailand who will be in Group E with Sarawakâs SMK Sheik Haji Othman Abd Wahab and Victoria Institution from Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, Group F will see SMK King George V from Negeri Sembilan go up against SM Sains Pokok Sena from Kedah and SM Sains Selangor from Kuala Lumpur.
Sports school Sekolah Sukan Bandar Penawar from Johor will be in Group G. They will meet SMK Syed Sirajuddin from Perlis and Maktab Tentera DiRaja from Kuala Lumpur. Group H will see northern representatives SMK Tinggi Bukit Mertajam from Penang battle against SM Sains Hulu Selangor from Selangor and Sekolah Datoâ Abdul Razak from Negeri Sembilan.
Acknowledging the Sponsors
The success of the MCKK Premier 7s Powered by DiGi is made possible
through the generous support of sponsors. The title sponsor of the
Premier 7s is DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, who has contributed
significant resources to help implement the tournament successfully.
The event also acknowledged the support of UEM Group Berhad and TM Berhad as Premier Sponsors of the inaugural event and the tournamentâs other main corporate sponsors CIMB Foundation, MTU Services Sdn Bhd, Hopetech Sdn Bhd, Scomi Group Berhad, Puspakom Sdn Bhd, Proton Holdings Berhad, Puspakom Sdn Bhd, Permanis Sandilands Sdn Bhd and Carisbrook.
The MCKK Premier 7s Powered by DiGi is jointly organized by the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) and The Malay College Old Boys Association (MCOBA) through the sub-committee, The All Blacks Revival (ABR). The tournament also receives the support from the Ministry of Education, the State Government of Perak, Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Kangsar and all local authorities in the Kuala Kangsar district.
At the event, Joint Organizing Committee Chairman Zain Yusoff, expressed his thanks to the many corporations and individuals who offered their support to make the Tournament a reality. âOne of the first companies to come on board was DiGi, who is very supportive in their role as title sponsor and since then we have received a lot of support from other corporate sponsors such as UEM, TM, CIMB, MFDM and Hopetech among many othersâ. He then thanked the media for their show of support and coverage for the event. He also expressed his thanks to his Co-Chairman, Anand Baharuddin, the Headmaster of MCKK and his staff, who will play host to the visiting teams. Participants will stay at the school for the duration of the tournament. He also thanked HRH Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak, who is Chairman of the Schoolâs Board of Directors for agreeing to become the Patron of the Tournament. His Royal Highness will be hosting a dinner at Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar in conjunction with the start of the tournament.
Mentoring The Development of Our Youth
The Tournament is the brainchild of the All Blacks Revival Committee
(ABR), a group of the schoolâs rugby playing alumni who came together to
revive and infuse new life into the proud tradition of rugby excellence
at MCKK. Joint Organizing Committee Chairman Zain Yusoff said, âOur
participation in the sport during our school days played a key role in
our development and growth as people, and we wanted the current students
at the school to have the same experiences we did. We invited schools
which had the same commitment to rugby as we did, and a history of
excellence in the game to compete at what we hope will become the most
prestigious tournament for 7-a-side rugby in the country. â
Zain Yusoff added, âTeam sports like rugby fostered school spirit and respect for rivals, sportsmanship and fairplay. These values cannot be taught from textbooks but have to be lived to be understood. And we are delighted by the support we have been given by the Ministry of Education who bought into our point of view and have given us their whole-hearted support to raise the game under their âOne Student, One Sportâ programmeâ.
Zain Yusoff concluded, âThis Tournament is more than just about playing a game. All of us from MCKK are looking forward to sharing our culture and hospitality with the participating schools. For many of us, itâs a way of giving back something to the younger generation. Itâs about sharing values, learning through experience, and of course, enjoying the game we all love so much.â
History of Rugby In Premier Schools
Rugby was introduced to Malaysian boys in the post-war period by British teachers who had played the game themselves when they were growing up. Schools like Kind Edward, Victoria Institution and MCKK took to the game with a passion and competed fiercely for honours at both inter-state and national level, producing many national players and coaches. The winner of the tournament will take home the N.J. Ryan Trophy, named for the MCKK former headmaster who was responsible for introducing rugby to the school and who played a key role in its growth and development.