International Engineering Ambassadors
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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Sheffield Malaysian Games 2017 by Muhammad Zainudin

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The famous Sheffield Malaysian Games was initiated by SMSA, a Malaysian society based in the University of Sheffield under the Student Union. The first Sheffield Malaysian Games was in 1999 where only a few sports were played amongst the member of the society. It has now grown massively and has numerous events across the British Isles. There can be up to 2,000 spectators every year. Participants registering for SMG 2017, was at a staggering amount of more than 1,000 players in 11 major sports. These include sports like Badminton, Ultimate Frisbee, Football and various others. Aside from sport, SMG2017 offers exquisite delicious Malaysian cuisine such as Nasi Lemak (Coconut Milk Rice), Roti Canai (Pratha) and Nasi Ayam Masak Merah (Spicy Chicken with Rice). In addition to this, we provide a day-care service for parents coming to the event with children. There are also non-food booths selling shawls, concert tickets and free-to-enter games such as the cyber games and mini traditional games.

I can still remember when applied to become a committee member for the SMG2017. This took place in October last year (2016), just few days after I arrived in Sheffield from Malaysia. I received a call the following day for an interview in the Students Union with the Director of SMG2017 and the president of SMSA. I was competing against good candidates but I made it through and was elected as Vice Director (MASSOC) of SMG2017. This year was the first time SMSA had ollaborated with MASSOC (Malaysian and Singaporean Society) and Sheffield Hallam University, so three Vice Directors were needed to represent each of the societies.

A lot of hard work and organisation went into making this year’s Sheffield Malaysian Games a successful one. It took a tremendous amount of dedication and effort, from the committee of SMG2017, which began in October 2016 right through until the day of the event, 18th February 2017. We held fund-raising events, approached various sponsors, promoted SMG2017 through social media by making videos and had numerous meetings in between. Fortunately, we received generous funds from two sponsors, Chaffinch and MABEC. I was responsible for the Major Games, the Protocol Unit, the Equipment Unit and the Volunteering Unit as I was the PIC (person-in-charge).

On the day of the event, all the committee members arrived very early at the venue (King Edwards Lower School VII) at 6 am in the morning! We set up the food stalls, the sports equipment and signage to guide the players and spectators. At 7am, players began to arrive and the food vendors began serving their food. The Games then started at 8.30am as some players were coming all the way from Ireland and Scotland.
I was stationed at the Football Astroturf field to supervise football matches, as they were the most popular with numerous fixtures that needed managing. The Games were a great success with all the  sports running smoothly.

The event ended at 4pm and prize-giving ceremony which was presided over by our VIP guest, the Head of MARA UK, a government body that sponsors Malaysian students to study in the UK. He carried out an inspirational talk, acknowledged the great organisational work carried out by the SMG2017 committee and was very complimentary about the event. The Games officially ended with the presentation of medals to the winners from each sport.

I was very happy with the first event I successfully managed during my first year at the University of Sheffield, supported by a dedicated team. I learned so much from this event such as working with groups of different people with different backgrounds, communicating with sponsors and managing the committee to ensure everyone was doing their job. Even though I had a more senior role, I worked very closely with the advising them and was hopefully a good mentor.  I hope that SMG will continue its great legacy and approach more international participants in the coming years. 

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