Wednesday, April 13, 2005

So Near Yet So Far

The image of the kids holding back their tears and putting up a smiling face on stage in front of the crowd who for the past four days never failed not to clap for them or boo them, is still the freshest thing in my mind even after I am slowly settling down in office again after the hectic 5 days at UIA. The silent tears that they tried to hide when they finally made to the group were the most heart breaking experience any coach would have to bear.

I suppose it’s a sign of ageing that as you grow older, the fatherly and elderly instinct also grows stronger in you. I felt this when I started to have nephews and nieces, that somehow I no longer look at children in the way I used to look at them. They were no longer the insufferable, annoying creatures who turned my house or my room upside down, but loveable, cute creatures who somehow had strong grips on you that when you were away for long, they were always on your mind.

Back in koleq, if I were to cry after a defeat in any competition, it was because for koleq’s sake I wished the result would have been different. It was a totally different feeling yesterday – I was really crushed not because koleq did not win but because I felt so strongly for the kids. It was too poignant to see them smile with tears in their eyes, knowing they had put so much hard work for this and have never complained, have never rebelled, have never disobeyed us despite how much we drilled them, despite how much we put them under pressure. It was really sad that in spite of how proud I was of them to have come so far in such a short time – I still could not congratulate them on getting the labour of their toils.

It is pretty obvious that the coaches are getting a bit too attached to the kids. When we agreed to commit to their coaching back in 2003, I had always intended it to be a quickie – coach them for a month, let them go to PPM and win, and I would have done my duty and honoured my promise to the teachers.

But those who have watched Mr Holland’s Opus would understand that teaching or coaching never works that way – “life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”. Slowly you become very absorbed with the people you coach and in no time they become attached permanently to you. Maybe it’s like raising children, to watch them growing up and to share their joy and sadness is the best gift any parents could have.

And we did share their joy and sadness – although we laughed more than they do in front of them, at the most heart breaking moment, we have to put a braver face and do our crying on our own, usually in the car on the way home!

We have overcome many things in our life as adults – either at work, in career, in student politics or even in negotiating rooms with leader of political parties, British MPs and ministers, foreign counterparts etc. etc. – but nothing prepares me for the heart break. It’s very difficult to break us in our daily life, but I don’t even have words to describe what I felt upon seeing the kids so crushed like that.

But victory and glory is never easy hence the meaning it brings when we are finally there. The boys have come this far and they have not wavered even once – it is atrocious for the coaches to waver and to give up now.

We shall recover from this heart break; gather our strength and composure and soldier on. The kids will get what they deserve one day – and they deserve the trophies more than most koleq teams before them.

“It is not the hard work and long hours that is most terrible about it, it is the heart break that we get year after year” – Ben

POST SCRIPT

1) MCKK1 and MCKK2 both qualified to the semi final for the BM category. MCKK2 (the junior team) defeated the favourite SAINA to go to the final. It would have been an all MCKK final, but that opportunity was denied. MCKK1 lost to SAS and as much as I know that we always meet with moot results in our debating history, I still feel the result should have been different. The next morning, MCKK2 lost to SAS in the final.

2) MCKK1 and MCKK2 both qualified to the knock out rounds for the English category, making MCKK the only school with all teams through to the knock out rounds (after the first 6 rounds). MCKK2 (the junior team) lost to St Xavier in the octo-final, whilst MCKK1 lost narrowly (and controversially) to RMC in the quarter final.

3) MCKK was the runner ups for both English and BM categories for last year’s UIA tournament. The trophies eluded us once again this year.

4) “still teringat that night English debate between MCKK2 and SMAP Kajang...darn proud watching Ed, Baku n Nabil in action....” – Knoe. The same feeling that most of the coaches and old boys felt seeing our boys in action.

5) My sincerest thanks to all the coaches and old boys who were with the boys – the number of old boys joining our ranks is growing bigger. We could not have done it without you guys and it is during this kind of tournament that I am reminded how thankful and grateful I am that I have had the privilege to be a budak koleq, for you could not have asked or found better companionship and camaraderie elsewhere. My tribute to:

Yusoy (Class of 89)
Ben (Class of 90)
Dany (Class of 90)
Shahrol (Class of 93)
Knoe (Class of 93)
Allen (Class of 94)
Fazurin (Class of 94)
Sani (Class of 95)
Adique (Class of 02)
Amir Zharif (Class of 03)
Izzat (Class of 04)
Afiq (Class of 04)
Pojue (Class of 04)
Emo (Class of 04)
Muiz (Class of 04)
Ami (Class of 04)


6) The kids made a sum of RM2,500 altogether for the tournament – RM2,000 for first runner up and RM500 for semi finalist.

7) PPM is in SAS Putrajaya from 28 May 2005 to 2 June 2005. If you want to see how good these kids are, please be there. They need your support.


MCKK1 BM tengah prepare I


MCKK1 BM tengah prepare II


Kereta Sherry pulak tak nak hidup, tak pasal2 kena jump start from Allen’s car


Coach dalam hati nak nangis, RM750 sekali Ben borong Coke je sebenarnya


Group photo I


Group photo II

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