I had posted about the plight of our National Women Rugby team who are keeping their finger crossed and their hope flickering to play in their inaugural Women Rubgy at Asian Games. If they managed to land in Incheon and participate it will be another chapter in the Annals of Women's Sports in Malaysia. They are short of funds since they are placed in Category B and not funded by Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
In order to keep their hope afloat, they are organising a Charity fundraising Fitness Challenge on these dates:
17th August 2014 KL @ Titiwangsa
24th August 2014 Putrajaya @ Precint 1
RM 25 Individual
Fitness is about challenging your own body on a certain activities. It is a sign of how your body can cope with physical stress and it can be a barometer to check the efficiency of your heart during such physical stress. It is also to gauge how your physical self can perform strenuous activities and together with your heart pumping the much needed oxygenated blood will be the telltale sign of your body physical efficiency towards a healthy life. So what does participants have to do during the Challenge?
PAYMENT CAN BE MADE TO:
MAYBANK ACCOUNT NO. 564119 407110
TYPE NAME-CHOOSE KL OR PUTRAJAYA-
EMAIL YOUR DETAILS-NAME-CONTACT NO – DATE & TIME OF THE EVENT AND PAYMENT SLIP FOR REGISTRATION TO firstname.lastname@example.org
contact us at 012 – 920 1105 or visit our Facebook page at fitnessmodelmalaysia or follow our Instagram : qhalisnariah_fit4lifemalaysia
The girls even wrote an open letter to the Sports Minister to voice out their hopes
Dear Minister of Youth and Sports YB Datuk Khairy Jamaluddin
It was heartening to see your enthusiasm for our athletes at the Commonwealth Games this year. Like any other sporting event, we will have some great (and surprising) wins but also a fair share of losses. Winning is never a guarantee no matter how hard we play. The point is to play our best, as you mentioned in one of your passing statements.
As rugby athletes, it is extremely difficult to gain support in a country that is more football-mad than rugby-keen. As female rugby athletes, it is even harder to convince friends, families and sometimes, coaches, that we are serious about our sport.
The Dingoes team started as a social rugby club for women who had an interest in rugby. Despite the challenges, we worked really hard, many times training with the more experienced male players, to prove our worth. Eventually, we must have done something right when we were invited to play in Thailand, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and even India as the Malaysian Women’s Rugby team under the wings of Malaysian Rugby Union, supported by the Asian Rugby Football Union, and recognized by the International Rugby Board.
This year, we were told of the opportunity to represent Malaysia at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Preparations began as early as January. We upped our game by training daily from April onwards. Many of the girls work full time jobs, so you can imagine the dedication to the game.
Some time after the Raya break, the players were informed that we only qualify to receive the national travelling kit and medical support from the Olympic Council of Malaysia because we happen to fall under a Category B sport. With less than six weeks to the game, we desperately began to seek donations and sponsorship from friends and supporters.
The frustration is not so much the lack of funds but the nonchalant manner in which women’s rugby has been given.
Many of our girls have played rugby for an average of 5 years. Yet, the Malaysian Women’s Rugby team is ranked 40 in rugby 15s and 64 in rugby 7s, giving it a combined ranking of 50 out of 129 countries (published in November 2013) in the Women’s Rugby International scene!
Not too bad for a young team, don’t you think?
On days like this when told about the lack of support from our country, you can only imagine the questions we have at the back of our minds. How can we wear the Malaysian jersey with pride? Why should it matter how hard we play when the country does not seem to care? Will we be scorned for our losses and ignored in our wins? Will no one applaud us for the hard work we have put in?
Many of us have broken bones and torn ligaments for the love of this game and also for our country. But that does not really matter anyway, since we are only a Category B sport that will get neither the right recognition nor support to play.
So, should we continue to ignite our passion and train hard despite the possibility of not being able to play at the Asian Games due to the shortage of funds? Or should we cut our losses and call it quits? What would you do if you were in our place?
The Brave Dingoes of the Malaysian Women’s Rugby Team