La Salle Games to revive sporting excellence in schools

In a bid to revitalize the La Salle schools, the De La Salle Brothers are collaborating with the associated alumni of all the La Salle Schools who are organised as the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations (MFOLSA), to revive the focus on sporting excellence.

This will be the LA SALLE GAMES, a competitive sports carnival featuring the La Salle Schools, which will be held on 14th July 2018 in Petaling Jaya.

The LA SALLE GAMES will see 8 La Salle schools competing in 6 different sports. La Salle PJ, La Salle Brickfields, La Salle Klang, La Salle Sentul, St John’s Institution (KL), St Paul’s Institution (Seremban), St Francis Institution (Malacca) as well as St John’s International (KL) will have the best of their Under-14 sportsmen challenging to become winners a one-day tournament featuring football, hockey, badminton, table-tennis, basketball as well as a relay road run. The school that wins the most number of the 6 sports will also win the LA SALLE GAMES CHALLENGE SHIELD.

This will be an annual sports competition, and plans are afoot from next year, 2019, to include all the La Salle schools in Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak.

At its highest level as a centre for sports excellence the La Salle schools was the place to nurture future champions. Once such story, that is reverberated in all La Salle schools around the country is that of Datuk Dr Sean Paul. He joined La Salle PJ as a gangly 12 year old in January 1983. Sean was an all-rounder in sports and was initially active in football and hockey. Then he encountered the senior Sports Master at La Salle PJ, Clement Fernandez, who spotted the young boy’s natural talent as a sprinter. Mr Clement helped Sean nurture his inherent gift to become a skilled sprinter over the 100m and 200m short distances.

The young teen then went on to blaze the tracks at the national and international levels as a champion sprinter. Today, some 30 years after he completed his schooling at La Salle, Datuk Dr Sean Paul is kept busy running his successful dental practice in Kuala Lumpur.

This is a story that surfaces in many of the La Salle schools around Malaysia. The schools were synonymous with excellence in sports. These were the breeding grounds for many boys who developed their sporting skills and aptitude to become sports champions at the national and international arena. Some of them are national icons of Malaysian sports, such as Datuk James Selvaraj, Yew, Cheng Hoe and Moo Foot Lian in badminton.

And in hockey we had starts such as Freddie Vias, the Sta Marias and the Van Huizens. Meanwhile, Chow Chee Keong, Wong Choon Wah and John Engkatesu in football.

Just like Sean Paul, many parents wanted their sons to be schooled at one of the schools that were run by the De La Salle Brothers.

Here, the parents knew that their sons would not only receive a well-rounded education but that they would also be instilled with discipline and a set of values and civic consciousness, which was the hallmark of the La Salle Schools.

Although the De La Salle Brothers have already retired as school principals and teachers, many of them still actively run the governance of these schools as leaders of the Boards of Governors.

The Organisers, MFOLSA, has also launched a crowdfunding exercise to raise RM66,000 that will go towards the running and implementation costs of the La Salle Games. This includes covering the costs of events infrastructure, technical resources (equipment, referees, officials), prizes, catering as well as transportation and logistics.

The public, including alumni members, teachers and parents are invited to contribute towards this important community initiative. The link to this crowdfunding platform is https://www.100percentproject.org/en/lasallegames.