PETALING JAYA, Saturday 14 July – It was a bright, sunny and windy day, setting the perfect environment for the day long sports carnival involving 800 students from 8 Lasallian schools held here today.
The La Salle Games, which was revived after a 30 year lapse was successfully held at the grounds of the La Salle PJ Secondary School here. St Paul’s Institution from Seremban, was declared the Overall Champion School based on aggregated score of the contingent participating in all the sports at the Games. They pipped hosts La Salle PJ to the Championship Title by just one point.
The students, all from the Lasallian schools in the Klang Valley plys competed over 6 different sports – football, hockey, badminton, basketball, table tennis and a relay road-run. All the competitions were judged by qualified referees and umpires. The Games are also sanctioned by the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
The 8 participating Lasallian schools in this inaugural La Salle Games were the hosts, La Salle PJ, La Salle Klang, La Salle Brickfields, St Paul’s Institution of Seremban, St Francis Institution of Malacca, St John’s Institution of KL and St John’s International School.
St Paul’s and La Salle PJ each won 2 out of the 6 contested sports – Table Tennis and Badminton competitions were won by St Paul’s while La Salle PJ took the Football and Hockey titles. However, St Paul’s achieved one point better from their placings to beat La Salle PJ to the Overall Champions Shield.
A special trophy was also presented. The Patrick Gomes Football Award which was given for outstanding performance in the football competition of the La Salle Games. This Award went to Muhammad Haikal Syahputra Majidi who played in the striker position for the La Salle Klang team.
The Organisers – the De La Salle Brothers and the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations (MFOLSA) have plans to extend the Games into an annual event and plans are afoot to run the Games as a National Program from 2019 that will involve the participation of all the Lasallian schools nationwide, including all the states in Peninsular as well as East Malaysia.
There are over 42 La Salle schools in Malaysia, including primary and secondary schools. The La Salle Games will maintain its course as an Under-14 competition for Forms 1 and 2 students.
President of MFOLSA, Michael Simon, explained that the key objective of staging the La Salle Games this year is to revive the stature of all La Salle schools as the breeding ground of sports champions for Malaysia. Over the years, our schools were affected by the shift of the education policy to primarily focus on academic results to the detriment of extracurricular activities, especially sports. The La Salle Games is part of the initiative of the De La Salle Brothers and MFOLSA to revitalize the schools and revive the position of the schools as national institutions that provide holistic education based on knowledge and good values, towards developing fine outstanding young Malaysians of the future.
In 1852, the first group of La Salle Brothers arrived in the island of Penang in the then Malaya, where they established their first school, St Xavier’s Institution.
Since then, the heritage of La Salle schools in Malaysia spanning over 160 years, has seen the growth of the schools run by Christian Brothers of the De La Salle movement, These schools have been instrumental in providing education and future direction in life of countless thousands of people throughout Malaysia and Singapore. The success stories are manifold – among them businessmen, entrepreneurs, scholars, writers, politicians, academics and teachers – all former students who have risen to great prominence as leaders in their own chosen field. Lasallian schools became a global institution, thanks to the energy and dedication – at times, sheer courage – of those who followed in the footsteps of the schools’ saintly founder, John Baptist De La Salle – the 17th century son of a wealthy family.
In Peninsular Malaysia there are 32 La Salle Schools and in addition to that are the 12 Associated Schools in Sabah and Sarawak.