IT was an occasion to salute Negri Sembilan’s track and field veterans.
They were honoured at the Negri Sembilan Masters Athletics Association (POMNS) annual dinner held at Teratai Restaurant in Seremban Two recently.
Leading the former champions was ex-national runner M. Ramakrishnan, who won an astounding 19 gold medals in the men’s Under-55 category at the Malaysian and Asian Masters Athletics meets from 2010 to 2014.
The other 12 gold medallists during the same period are M. Thanasegaran (nine gold in men’s Under-40), Wong Yeo Tho (nine gold in men’s Under-60), Abdul Malik Taib (four gold in men’s Under-50), Raja Arumugam (three gold in men’s Under-55), Mohd Radir Kasbi (three gold in men’s Under-60), S. Ramasamy (two gold in men’s Under-75), Sulaiman Abu Bakar (one gold in men’s Under-55), Lee Yau Hong (seven gold in women’s Under-55), Margaret Manuel (two gold in women’s Under-55), Nor Azilah Ahman (one gold in women’s Under-70), Darvis Subahan (one gold in women’s Under-70), and Jemilah Atan (one gold in women’s Under-50).
With the passion still burning in them, the 13 athletes have been making Negri proud both at national and in the Asian Masters meets annually.
MK Jacob, who was POMNS secretary from 1994 to 2006 and a founder member of Malaysian Association for Veteran Athletics (MAVA), was presented with a gift for his long service to the association.
State Youth and Sports director Azura Sarban donated RM2,000 to POMNS.
She said: “I am happy with the performances of these veteran athletes.
“I congratulate the newly-elected POMNS committee members under the leadership of president Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal.
“Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has launched the Fit Malaysia programme which will be implemented nationwide next year.
“The prime minister has also set aside allocation for fitness-related activities in the 2015 Budget.
“Our department has various facilities in Negri Sembilan, and POMNS members can book to use them as there are many others also using them”
POMNS secretary K. Ramasamy said: “Our athletes have competed in various Masters meets such as Asian Open, Malaysia, Singapore, Johor, Thailand and Brunei.
“At this year’s national Masters meet in Kuantan, our Negri team brought home six gold, eight silver and six bronze medals compared to a tally of 8-5-6 from Ipoh last year. These athletes were given full financial support for our national meet and subsidies for the other meets.
“The 15 to 25 active athletes usually finance themselves for the meets, out of their keen interest in the sport.
“Every year, we receive grants from the menteri besar for being an active sports association and also financial assistance from the state Sports Council and state Youth and Sports Department.
“Datuk A. Ponniah, as the former POMNS president, still advises and motivates us for our year-long activities.
“Among our activities are family day, treasure hunt, excursions, health seminar, visit to welfare homes and family walk or jogathon,” added Ramasamy. By S. Solomon Samuel