EIGHTY-TWO-year-old S. Kathirvale had reasons to be elated when he was inducted into the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) - Hall of Fame at the Coca-Cola Olympian of the Year ceremony in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Kathirvale, a former FIFA referee and FIH umpire, said he was pleased to be on stage with some of the top officials and athletes in Malaysia.
“I started being involved as a match official, in both hockey and football, when I was 28. It was very challenging then and there were days when abuses were hurled at me. But today, the OCM had made me proud with this honour,’’ said Kathirvale.
Besides Kathirvale, the OCM also honoured Datuk Khalid Yunus, Datuk W.Y. Chin, Datuk Seri Kee Yong Wee, S. Jahendran, Datuk Thomas Lee, Marina Chin and Karu Selvaratnam.
Marina, now the principal of the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), won three gold medals in the 1977 and 1979 SEAP Games. She was also named as the Sportswoman of the Year in 1976 and 1977. Karu has the honour of having represented Malaysia in athletics and cricket.
Organising chairman Datuk Danyal Balagopal said the awards were a recognition for the recipients’ contribution to sports.
“All the winners have an impressive track record as administrators and athletes. They deserve to be given the honour to be inducted into the OCM Hall of Fame,’’ said Danyal, who is also the OCM vice-president.
BJSS netball coach Choo Kon Lee was presented with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women and Sports Diploma.
The Olympian of the Year awards went to shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi and archer Cheng Chu Sian. Both were impressive in the recent SEA Games in Indonesia. Nur Suryani won the 10m air rifle and 50m three position gold medals while Chu Sian won the individual and team events.
Both Nur Suryani and Chu Sian were rewarded with RM10,000 and a medallion each.
Roll of Honour
Olympian of the Year (women): Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi (shooting).
Olympian of the Year (men): Cheng Chu Sian (archery)
IOC Women and Sport Diploma: Choo Kon Lee (netball)
IOC Trophy (Sport and Social Responsibility); Saujana Golf and Country Club
Hall of Fame: Datuk Khalid Yunus, Datuk W.Y. Chin, Datuk Seri Kee Yong Wee. S. Jahendran, Datuk Thomas Lee, S. Kathirvale, Marina Chin, Karu Selvaratnam.