The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) paid special tribute to former internationals Tan Sri Dato’ Seri P. Alagendra and the late Vivian May Soars by announcing the inaugural men’s Knockout and women’s Challenge Cup after the two icons.
The men’s knockout tournament that comprises six Premier League and eight Division One teams will be named Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup. The tournament starts on August 23, 2016 and offers a winning purse of RM70,000 to the champion and RM30,000 to the runner-up.
Vivian May Soars Challenge Cup will be held after the completion of the women’s league on 17 September, 2016 and will involve the top four teams.
MHC President, Dato’ Sri Subahan Kamal, said the Executive Board unanimously supported the decision to name the two tournaments as a tribute to both icons for their immense contribution to Malaysian hockey.
“Tan Sri Alagendra has for so long been the pillar of strength in the development of hockey in our country both as a player and administrator. The same can be said of the late Vivian May as she was actively involved as player, coach and administrator from the 1940s,” Dato’ Sri Subahan said at the MHC Annual General Meeting (AGM) and TNB Malaysian Hockey League 2016 Press Conference and Knockout Draw.
“We hope that our younger generations of players emulate the hard work and success of past national players who have brought glory to our country. Honestly, we were not even born when they played for the nation and there is a rich history in their contribution,” said Dato Seri’ Subahan. “It is aptly right that MHC honours both Tan Sri Alagendra and the late Vivian Soars by naming these tournaments in honour of them.”
A former Selangor Police Chief Officer, Tan Sri Alagendra was Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) vice-president (1958-1980), Deputy President (1980-2005) and a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Technical Committee (1975-1985). He was also chairman of the 1998 KL Commonwealth Games hockey competition and deputy chairman of the organising committee of the 10th Men’s Hockey World Cup in KL in 2002.
For his contributions as the Asian Hockey Federation secretary-general (1990-2014), he was accorded honorary life president status. In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Merit by FIH at their Congress in Paris.
As a player, Tan Sri Alagendra represented the country at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, coached the team to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and was the assistant manager at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and 1972 Montreal Games. He capped his Olympic duty as Malaysia’s chef de mission to the 2000 Sydney Games.
The late Vivian, who passed away in 2009 due to heart complications, was a lady with such grace; dignity and strength to pursue what she believed were the right of women. She was actively involved as a player beginning in the late 40s by playing for Selangor and also represented many prominent clubs such as the Selangor Club.
In the early 1960s, she became a member of the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association, representing the Selangor Hockey Association as a delegate. In 1971, Vivian was the Chief Coach of our national team playing in among the earliest foreign test-series in New Zealand.
In September 1975 Malaysia participated in the IFWHA 1st Women’s World Cup Tournament in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was also the head coach of the team that visited Denmark on the way to Edinburgh where the team played three matches with State and Club sides, winning all the matches.
In the 1980s Vivian moved to Malacca as a teacher and within a short period of time, created a new dimension of hockey in Malacca. She became the President of Malacca Women’s Hockey, which created a direct link to the Federal body before coming back to play an integral role in the Federal Hockey Association to organise two concurrent World tournaments – the World Cup and the Continental Cup in 1983.
In 1984, Vivian became a Vice President in the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association. She was also a manager of the national team for several competitions such as the FALFA Cup.
In the early years of women’s hockey in Asia, Vivian played an important role in representing Malaysian women. Malaysia was represented by two delegates, Vivian Soars (Vice President) and Mrs. Dororthy Sibert Bailey (Hon. Secretary) at the Asian Women’s Hockey Federation Council Meeting at Madras, India in January, 1975.
Draw for Men’s Knockout Tournament – 23 August (Tuesday): Sapura HC v Nur Insafi (Stadium Tun Razak, 6pm); TNB v UiTM-KPT (6pm, KLHA Stadium); UniKL v Maybank (8pm, Stadium KLHA); MBI v ATM Airod (Stadium Sultan Azlan Shah, 6pm); BJSS v SSTMI (Stadium KPM, 6pm); Politeknik Malaysia v TNB Thunderbolt (6pm, Stadium Taman Daya, Johor Baru, 6pm).