Semi was this morning against SMK Datuk Abdul Wahab.
KNO had to take the train last night for a presentation this morning - so Badut and Joe took turn to drive to KK this morning to be with the boys and coach them for semi and final (if they made it).
Canoe was in KK with the boys since Tuesday, and he will come back tonight and continue with the debating teams tomorrow.
I think a lot of us were glued to the phone and screen waiting for updates from KK. I was in a very important meeting but my mind was away too.
When it all finished, koleq lost to Clifford 6-1. Big margin and at first instance quite sad - but we'd rather wait for the full post mortem. Apparently there were a lot of injuries. On top of that, the final was at 1 pm and our boys most probably were no match to Clifford boys who play in Malaysian Junior Hockey League - more experienced, fitter and better.
But so long that we lose to a better team and it taught the boys to work harder to reach another level, I guess the result is secondary.
My only "terkilan" would have been on two things:
1) I feel for Canoe, KNO, Badut and Joe who turned everything upside down just to be with the boys. Maybe we did not expect that much to beat Clifford this early on, but it would have been nice for them.
2) I feel for the boys because I can imagine the kind of stupid questions and scoff they have to put up with when they go back. Some idiots will ask questions like "sayur nya korang", "sia-sia ada coach German", "laa apa guna ada old boys macam tu" - without pausing for a minute to think of the uphill these boys have to go through since they were left to their own devices for so many years; or the pain people like Canoe, Badut, Joe and KNO have to go through to see this little tournament through.
But each time my thoughts wonder on things like this, I am reminded of why we are all passionately in this.
Because it is the journey that matters, as we have always taught them. Because we want them to feel the same pride, the same love and the same belonging that we have for koleq; and for that they must experience the same thing we went through.
A lot of old boys complained about traditions being undone, about how present boys no longer meet the standards and barked at the wrong tree - if you cannot change the system, it's a waste of efforts to whine about it.
Yet there are plenty of rooms to bridge a gap, to give the boys opportunity to feel what we went through and along the way go through the same character building process, so that they too felt the same way about things. Many of this character building process takes place outside of the classroom - so there are plenty of opportunities for us to contribute; that's why I am beginning to view most of the complaints cynically as kata orang Melayu "hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih".
Of course in the end it goes back to the question - berapa kerat sangat nak buat kerja gila macam ni, balik koleq every weekend tinggal anak bini, ambik cuti to be with the boys masa tournament etc.
Anyway I am rambling. Was on the phone with Badut & Canoe just now - at least I can take comfort that diorang tak patah hati. After all what do you expect, it's only been a month and there hardly was a team before. People don't even come down to cheer for hockey games anymore nowadays - the boys have been on their own all this while (so I keep telling myself ha ha).
To the boys if you are reading this - there's a lot of work waiting. I am always reminded to Neil Finn's/Crowded House's famous line "... I don't pretend to know what you want, but I offer love.." each time we need to justify why we are doing this.