Royal start to Chu tourney

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The Royal Selangor Club (RSC)-Datuk Chu Ah Nge football tournament for juniors got off to a royal start at the RSC Annex in Bukit Kiara yesterday morning.

The Crown Prince of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah Ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al haj, who is also the President of the Football Association of Selangor, officially declared the tournament at the opening ceremony of the tournament.

Datuk Gerald Rakish Kumar, the organising committee chairman, in his speech said: “We are indeed humbled by His Highness’ consent to grace our event and his presence will not only motivate the young players to perform at the highest level but also our Junior Soccer Development Programme (JSDP) committee to strive harder to take our development programme to greater heights.

“This is His Highness’ first visit to the grounds of the RSC and we hope that this would be the first of many, as His Royal Highness’ father, The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj is the Royal Patron of our beloved Club.”

The tournament in its 14th edition for the first time also got the blessing of the FA of Malaysia who in recognising the JSDP and their international tournament for age groups starting from 8 years old to 16, have thrown their support to officially sanction the tournament.

The tournament which is popularly known in this region as the Datuk Chu International, was named after one of the past presidents of the Club namely the late Datuk Seri Chu Ah Nge, who sponsored the Challenge Trophy, as well as also provided financial support for the tournament during its infant stages.

“The tournament was launched in 2005 as an opportunity to provide a competitive environment for all age group teams in the RSC JSDP but it has since grown rapidly and has necessitated to include teams from around the region to justify the tournament’s international tag but more importantly, to gauge the progress of players, coaches as well as the development programme itself as compared to other academies in this region,” added Kumar in giving a brief history of the tournament.

The tournament over the years has been acclaimed as one of the premier grass roots junior soccer tournaments in the region and has been gaining popularity every year and has continued to attract large number of teams from well-known clubs and associations from around this part of the world.

This grassroots tournament, requires participating teams, clubs and football academies to compete in five (5) age groups. Competing teams collect points at all age groups, namely the Under-8’s, Under-10’s, Under-12’s, Under-14’s and Under-16’s, with the Dato’ Chu Ah Nge Challenge Trophy being presented to the team that has the highest cumulative point score at the end of the tournament.

All age groups play 7-a-side games in pitches that meet with FIFA’s requirements and all the games in the various groups will be played concurrently over the two days.

32 teams are competing in the two-day tournament  in the various age groups with teams coming from Singapore, Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia.

Kumar also paid tribute to generous assistance of our sponsors without whom the tournament will not have been able to manage.

“Their respective contributions either in form of cash payments, supply of water and isotonic drinks, advertisement and well wishes in our souvenir magazine is of tremendous assistance to defray our costs of undertaking an event such as this,” said Kumar in saluting the support.

The Ex-Malaysian Soccer Internationals who have always been supporting the tournament were also present at the tournament yesterday.

Among them included Datuk Santokh Singh, Datuk N Thanabalan, Datuk K. Rajagopal, Datuk Chen Wooi Hwa, Ho Hon Seong, Kamarulzaman Yusoff, Vincent Thambirajah, P. Umparam, Lim Hong Guan and Thomas Samuel.

A total 960 players are competing in the tournament in a competitive and carnival atmosphere.

RSC president Eapen Thomas in his speech congratulated the organising committee for their tireless effort to organise professionally and elevating the status of the tournament with each passing year.

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