Rama calls it a day

After 34 years with The Star of which 32 years was writing sports, in particular Hockey, S. Ramaguru is calling it a day.

Officially he will cease writing for The Star from December 31, 2017 , as he is on a month long leave prior to his early retirement.

Rama as he is fondly known turned 58 on October 25 and has another 18 months to serve but was given the Early Optional Retirement Scheme.

Hockey will surely miss one of its longest serving Journalist as Rama has been in the frontline of Hockey reporting since 1986.

He has covered two Olympics ( 2000 Sydney and 2012 London), four hockey world cups ( 1994 Sydney, 1998 Utrecht, 2002 Kuala Lumpur and 2014 The Hague) as well as three Asian Games ( 1998 Bangkok, 2002 Busan, 2010 Incheon) as well as the 1998 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.

He is currently the only serving journalist to have covered the 1993 Poznan Intercontinental Cup which used to serve as a World Cup Qualifier.

Born in Kulim, raised in Mentakab but made Seremban his home, Rama has also covered the National hockey team under the guidance of several coaches starting from Dato K. Yogeswaran, C. Paramalingan. K. Thavanayagam, M. Mahendran, Sri Shamnuganathan, Terry Walsh, Volker Knapp, Steohen van Huizen, Paul Lissek, Wallace Tan, Sarjit Singh, Tai Beng Hai, Paul Revington, K. Dharamaraj and Arul Selvaraj.

He had started covering the MHL from 1987 and the MJHL from 1995, the only journalist to cover the league from its formation till now.

He will take his bow at the World Hockey League Finals in India starting December 1 where he intends to watch Hockey at the highest level. His last Hockey assignment with The Star was the recent TNB Women Razak Cup.

In addition to Hockey, Rama was also involved in covering the Formula 1 and how ironic that he bids farewell the same year the roars of the speed merchants bid their goodbyes to Malaysia at the Sepang Circuit.

Personally I got to know Rama in 1986 when MPS took part in the Champions Club Tournament.

A hard working journalist who had the nose for stories, Rama was ever present in every Hockey tournament , often sitting behind his computer throughout the matches, though I must say he used to doze off at times as not easy watching up to four matches a day.

Those in the Hockey fraternity would always enjoy a good chat with Rama though one must add that he is often opinionated at tunes and would argue his case.

Rama also shared cordial relationships with the NSC Director Generals, Dato Kamalul Arrifin, Dato Wira Mazlan Ahmad. Dato Seri Zolkples Embong, Dato Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz and Dato Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.

But true to his character he stayed away from Sports Ministers as his priority was always the Athletes and those who had their pulse on sports administration.

Covering Hockey without Rama will not be the same but he will surely be present in matches as a free lance writer, already making early plans to catch Malaysia in action at the 2018 World Cup in India.

This blog for one could surely use the expertise of Rama and we will provide him space to pen his thoughts in Hockey as well as break stories from time to time.

Enjoy your early retirement Rama though I doubt you will “ retire” from Hockey.

We will miss this lively character in the media tribune but the world awaits his next plans.