Sunday, December 20, 2009

An inspiring speech by a great coach

"I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives. All comes down to today, and either, we heal as a team, or we're gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play. Until we're finished. We're in hell right now, gentlemen. Believe me. And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell... one inch at a time. Now I can't do it for ya, I'm too old. I look around, I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I've made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I've pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who's ever loved me. And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror. You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that's... that's... that's a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin' stuff. You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I'll tell you this, in any fight it's the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I'm gonna have any life anymore it's because I'm still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that's what living is, the six inches in front of your face. Now I can't make you do it. You've got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think ya going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same for him. That's a team, gentlemen, and either, we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That's football guys, that's all it is. Now, what are you gonna do?"

If any of you have seen this movie (Any Given Sunday - you can watch the video here). I'm sure you'll be moved by this speech. As a coach myself I really hope that I myself can do the same. To all Lightning BRaInS.. prepare for an adventure!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The sands of time

What a year it was! It has been almost two years that I'm back in Terengganu. Looking back at all the events and things that happened within these two years, I guess I have made the right decision to come back. It feels like moving with the speed of light. Life is so colourful and filled with meaningful events. Rugby is definitely what keeps me moving all the time.

Despite being busy with my rugby schedule, this year I decided to take on "the task" that I have refused to do for the past ten years. The only thing that I had to sacrifice was the training sessions. The U15 tournament was held two weeks after PMR examination and at that time I was still struggling with "the task". I really wish that I have someone who could help me with the training, unfortunately I didn't.

Knowing the constraints that I had to face I did not put high hopes to win the tournament. My goal is only to make it to the semi finals at least. I managed to have a series of friendly matches before the tournament. We felt honoured to be invited by SMKA Tok Jiring to have a friendly match as an opening event for their newly lined rugby field. Both of our U15 and U16 team won the matches. Alhamdulillah...

As promised by the Majlis Sukan Negara, our delayed coaching course was finally rescheduled on the 5-8th of November 2009. The course combined three states in the east coast of peninsular Malaysia; Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang. Even though it is a basic course (level one), I learned a lot of new things that I overlooked all these years.

As the host state for this course, we felt glad that this course was a success despite heavy rain and flood. Thanks to the facilitators Mr Afendi, Mr Mat Rat, Pak Hitam and Cikgu Hamid of Malaysian Rugby Union. They are the masters of this game for many-many years!

As for the Lightning Brains, thank you for your commitment! This year we have achieved a lot of success in local tournaments and also SBP Tens and we have made a lot of progress compared to last year. Next year we shall make it better.

It's time to relax for a while before the next season reopens. Happy holiday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something Worth Fighting For .... Winning

Plate Champion
MRSM Kuala Terengganu U14 Open
XKT Cup 2009

There is a big difference between winning and losing. It takes all our courage and determination to make that score. It is surely not easy to take all the blows before you can get to ground the ball. All you need is to believe in yourself first. I am happy to mention here that I have gained something for all the efforts that I had put in to build up this junior U14 team. Congratulations boys! You are truly the heroes in the eyes of the 'BRaInS'. It is so far the best achievement in the history of BRaInS Rugby.

At the beginning, I selected 20 best players from the Inter-house sevens to be recruited as the junior for under 14 team. These boys were new to the game and needed a lot of trainings to prepare them for such 'high profile' games. I knew very well for schools like MrsmKT, SESMA and SMK Sultan Ismail, the players were given intensive trainings on most aspects of physical strength and fitness. Theoretically speaking the boys need to be physically conditioned first before they can actually advance to contact games like rugby. Due to time constrain and limited knowledge to PE, I sort of fused the drills and fitness trainings. Size is always my problems since my boys are quite 'small'. When size does matter, I had to make sure that these boys have the most important element in rugby that is 'tackle.' I was surely glad that we have the equipment for tackling practice. Within three weeks of intensive trainings I began to see that these boys were really serious in their trainings. It gave me that motivation to push for more. What I managed to concentrate on was only basic skills and simple tactical plays. I did not put so much hope at first because I personally know that I have not given enough. "Rome was not built in one day" the proverb that I taught my students in class really taught me to be patient and persevere. I just want the boys to have the experience to play in a real rugby tournament. That was all that I hoped for, nothing more.

Under 14 and Under 16 ( in red)

Playing Jack of all trades all the way is never an easy job.

I owed so much to my U-16 team for helping me with the trainings. At least they provide me with some rooms to prepare for other things. Thanks to Naim, Qaiyum, Che Din, Zul and the gang. They were willing to sacrifice the chance to see their family over the weekend just to be with their juniors. It was really worth sacrificing after all.

Finally, the D day came as expected. One thing that I did not expect that day was my family's visit. There was nothing much that I could do to make the house ready for guests. What I managed to do was only making it look manageable. Thanks to my lovely wife for taking care of everything at home. I owe you a lot. Love you, dear! :)

Well, here's the summary of the matches

Grouping Group B

BRaInS U14 Vs SMK Tok Jiring


we got the second place in the group

Knock out round CUP


Advance to PLATE Category

Semi Final PLATE

BRaInS U14 Vs SMK Tengku Bariah


BRaInS U14 Vs MRSM Kuala Berang
After Sudden Death Penalty Kick

The victory was finally concealed after the dramatic sudden-death penalty kick when the game ended in a tie. It was the captain who made sure that he would be the one taking the winning trophy. I could see the quality in Hafiz as the captain. He is a prolific leader who created opportunities and he made the most try scoring points in all the games. I just hope that he'll play more rugby in the future and I shall make him a better player.

Hafiz The Charismatic Captain

It has been a wonderful experience for me, the team, and all of BRaInS rugby players. The medals were presented during assembly and the boys were really proud to receive their medals from the principal. In his speech, the principal congratulated the whole team and gave his words of encouragement. It was a moral booster for me. Since I started to develop rugby in BRaInS, this is the best achievement so far. I shall go for more because I know
Rugby is something worth fighting for!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hope gives you wings

Salam to all. It's been awhile since I had been 'disconnected' with my blog. Two weeks of travelling weekends and the wedding ceremony of my sister kept me busy like crazy. I could still feel the dizziness. Alhamdullilah, everything happenned as planned and well. Surprisingly, in the middle of everything, I have managed to do some development program for my junior rugby team. With the Under 14 Rugby Tournament organized by MRSMKT coming next month, I really have to pull my act together. I guess I was lucky to have my current Under 16 players to help me with the training. On the 13th to 15th July the first "BRaInS U-14 Inter -House Rugby Sevens Tournament" was held. It was the first time such tournament was ever held in the school. The four houses compete to be the champion. Here are some photos of the whole event.
The Yellow House

The Red House

The Green House

The Blue House

Round 1 The Reds Vs The Blues

The Greens Vs The Yellows

The Lineout

The evasive running

The supportive crowd

The tackled and the fallen

The final game: The Blues vs The Greens
The Blues won this match 21 - 0

The Play-maker
The Rugby Spirit- Respect and Friendship
The Winner- The Blue House
Special Thanks to Quiyum's generous parents for sponsoring the hamper

At the end of the game I could see that there is a future for the junior team. If only I could be more focus and more serious with coaching, I believe that they can go the distance. There are always challenges that lies ahead. The nearest is I have to take care of the kids because my wife is going for a course until next week. Looks like the kids will have to spend their evenings at the school field while I do some coaching. I don't want to see that as a problem really. My aim is to equip the team with good skills and advanced tactical play. The rest... well... they will have to figure it out as a team. I hope that the leadership in the team would work out well. Go Lightning BRaInS!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Call Of Duty

It's time to pack my things and leave my wife and kids again..... It seems easy for some people but not me. For the past two days my wife has been having a fever and due to that the doctor gave her two days medical leave. She had been working too hard I guess, maybe the body is trying to tell her to have a break. I could never make any decision on my 'duty' until this morning, when she said that she was going to school and she had to attend a very important meeting at PPD Setiu. From the conversation between her and the Co-Academic officer yesterday, I had a feeling that the people in PPD are putting a lot of trust in her especially when it comes to organizing big events. The kids, well, they are too young to understand the duty of their father. I never want them to know if I am leaving.

Unlike an ordinary teacher whose duty is mostly bound in school, I play a bigger role. I am a Rugby Referee. It is the passion that brought me to this profession and I enjoy doing it. Rugby is always the greatest show on earth for me. Most of the time I'll be refereeing for National Level schools tournament, so, normally I will be present at all the MSSM, SBP Tens, KRM-Milo and COBRA invitation. This week I'm going for COBRA Tens Invitation. It's a two days tournament 26 -27 June 2009.

I am glad that I am blessed with an understanding wife who understands the role that I am playing. Since we got back to Terengganu I got a lot of games to referee all over the country. My wife has become more independent and she has no problem in handling the kids. Thank God they are growing up pretty fast! At my age I can still enjoy an active life and I don't have to worry about any health problem. This is probably the benefits that I gained for being actively involved with this sport. I just couldn't imagine if I am just spending my time sitting in the staffroom and bore myself with all the clerical work. As for my duties in school as an English Language teacher, I never leave school without giving assignments and homework to my students. 10 years of experience teaching SBP schools, I always put academic ahead of everything. I always tell my rugby players if they perform in academic they will always have a place in the school team. Those who did not perform can only play for inter-house level tournament in school.

This year Terengganu wil be represented by SMK Lembah Bidong (My wife's school) for U16 COBRA Invitation. There will be three other countries participating in this tournament Taiwan, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka (if I'm not mistaken) The H1N1 worries me a bit since a number of schools had been closed due to this outbreak. Hopefully all the players are tough enough to resist the virus.
National Rugby Referees

To all my brothers-in-arms The National Rugby Referees, it's been great to hang out with you guys! Once in a while there will be a new experience learned, skills to be improved and jokes to be shared. I never feel that there is a gap between us even though I am among the junior referees around. One common quality that all the rugby players and rugby fans share is that we are brothers, we share the same passion and we are not divided by the colour of our jerseys. Above all.. We are gentlemen!
U15 Clifford School 1992
In memory of an old skool rugger. Al-Fatihah to my friend Zulkifli a.k.a Malek

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cliffordians reunited at last !

Life is full of surprises and coincidence. For the past 15 years I've been trying to reconnect myself with my classmates and friends in my secondary school. Time passed by so fast and many things have changed and it seemed impossible to find my fellow Cliffordians. I never give up hope because something tells me that one day I shall find them. Thank God there is, I finally managed to rediscover long lost friendships.

Once a Cliffordian..always a Cliffordian

I was very surprised to get a message through facebook from my pet sister Kak Liza. I met her when I was in form 3 and she was in lower 6 at that time. She used to be my partner for a pantomime presentation and MC for a couple of events in school. We share quite a lot of memories together in school. Since I studied in an all boys school, I did not get to know a lot of female students. However, having co-ed form six students in the school gave me a different perspective of a relationship . Having the chance to make friend with my pet sister has widened my view of friendship. The last time I heard from her was when she joined the armed forces. I never thought someone so soft and tender like her would become an 'iron lady'. To Kak Liza (Norhasliza Hashim) I am really thankful for all the wonderful memories we shared together and encouragement you gave me! At least it helped me a little when I got to a female dominated TESL programme! For your information I was very close to enroll myself to be an army officer after SPM, however my parents disagreed to that and they wanted me to choose teaching career instead. I guess it is my destiny to become a teacher and I am enjoying every second of it.

The enigmatic old building of Clifford secondary School

My next surprise also came from when my former classmate and dormate Naim added me in his contact list. He was the only guy that I share the same name in school. Naim is the name that my family members use to call me. In fact, some of my relatives didn't even know that my full name is Naiman. Anyway, since we stayed in the same class and the same dorm, I was quite comfortable using my full name to differentiate us. We both were the members of silat association. It seemed like an avalanche of joy when I got to rediscover my old friend Rosasmawi Ismail. I have lost contact with him since I got posted to Labuan. When I look back at the Class of 1994 photo (below) I think I have managed to piece half of the puzzle and I believe I will complete the big piece of the puzzle soon. My hope is that one day we all shall come back to Dewan Hamdan (the school main hall) as Cliffordians...True Cliffordians!. It is sad to learn about the lost of my three friends Zulkifli a.k.a Malek, Zulfikar and Rosli a.ka. Bros (Al-Fatihah)

5v1 Class of 94 in memory

The two weeks holiday was not really a holiday for me as I had to rush back early to Terengganu. This year's preparation for SBP Tens was the worst in my history of coaching, the students got back a day before we headed for Kluang , Johor. I did not expect much since two of my key players suffered injuries and one player fell ill. Well, they managed to achieve beyond my expectation. Even tough they got to the 4th Division (Shield) the team played well and they made it to the quarter finals. I'm glad that with only 14 players, we survived without any injury. Congratulations to my Lightning Brains! Next time we'll go for more!

Lightning BRaInS Super 14

Two big events take place this week. The Malaysia-Asean School Linkage Program which I was invited by SMK Lembah Bidong to be one of the facilitators (thanks to my wife) and also The Co-curriculum Day of SBP Integrasi Batu Rakit.

My former student Aisyah from Labuan who happened to join the Malaysa-ASEAN School Linkage Program

What a small world! When I was offered to teach a group of students consist of ASEAN students. I did not really know what to expect. I did some preparation and rehearse the lesson a little bit (since I wanted to make a good impression to my wife's students and also to the ASEAN students). I waited anxiously in the class. The moment the ASEAN students walked into the class I immediately reccognized a familiar face and a familiar badge. She was my ex-student from Labuan. I remembered teaching her when she was in form 3 and now she is already in form 5. Even though it has been two years I had left Labuan, Labuan shall always be a part of my life. I really treasure all the good times and bad times. Labuan will always be close to me at heart.

Alhamdulillah all those sweet memories of the past are coming back to me in a different light. I'm glad I have made it this far and I'm also glad to know that all my friends are also doing well. To all my friends and students, may Allah bless all of you with a happy and fulfilling life and that one day we shall all be reunited in heaven.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Have cool will travel!

Dubai Rugby Sevens (Just love watching the actions!)

The holiday started sooner than I thought. Too busy invigilating examination, I leave the marking part to another day (procrastination is the essence of time... hehe). Since a lot of events happen during this holiday, HKSBP, SBP Tens and so on and so forth, I had to make sure that all the letters to the parents and students' pocket money were well taken care of. Luckily ,I don't have to go to HKSBP in Putrajaya, if not all my holidays are gone. I wondered why the hell is this year's SBP Tens held during the school holiday. One thing I don't like is that it spoils the holiday and another I don't get to do the intensive training. I know my boys are still learning, the least that I can do before the tournament is to give them conditioning activities to get them fit and mentally prepared for the tournament. Anyway, hopefully the trainings that we had before the holiday and some friendly matches would help them a little bit. To all Lightning Brains Ruggers, I have faith in you guys! May the light be with you!

It's time to get into action! Just hope that I can still mantain my blip-test result!

As planned, I spend the first week of my holiday in KL with my parents. My wife just love going back to KL and so as the kids. After months of hectic schedule, continous meeting, choralsical and rugby tournaments, I finally got to take my wife and the kids to enjoy ourselves doing some shopping and sightseeing in town. Above all these, I treasure the quality time that we had together. I just hope that my wife would be happy with all the books that she bought because we rarely got to find ourselves a nice bookstore like MPH.

Me and my son Ammar

The kids are really enjoying themselves, just look at Ammar, everywhere he goes there is always an ultraman waiting for him. Aleeya is now getting herself into workbooks and learning activities. I won't hesitate spending money on those kinds of stuff. It's an investment for the future!

Andy McNab's Seven Troop

Behold people, this is the brand new novel that I got for myself. It is a modern warefare tale about a member of Special Air Service operative. War is always my kind of genre. I've got a collection of war movies, spy movies, war games and a few warplane models. I guess kids nowadays are more obsessed with PS2 games, they don't really learn anything about war. Perhaps this is my first collection of war novel and hopefully it won't be the last. Even though I like this genre so much, I am a man of peace, trust me! I just love to read about the tale of courage and bravery.

I just love the SAS motto "Who Dares Wins" I hope I could inspire my rugby team with these words and boost their motivation. As a coach I will never give up hope in anything because I believe in what I'm doing! See you guys in the 10th SBP Tens Rugby Tournament in Kluang Johor!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tribute to mothers of the world!

I know it is a bit too late to wish Happy mother's day to all the moms in my life. The first one goes to my beloved mother Hajah Jameah Binti Zaimat. She has always been a great mother to me. The mother who is always understanding and cool even though I was quite naughty and out of control when I was a kid. I will always miss my mum's cooking.

My Mum, Jameah Binti Zaimat

The second one goes to my grandmother Allahyarhamah Rokiah Binti Daud. Since I grew up in Kampung (Kuala Kangsar) with my grandparents in my early childhood, Pah (my grandmother) is like my second mother. May Allah bless her soul.

Next one goes to my mother-in-law, Hajah Zuraidah Binti Awang Kechik. I really admire her for her determination to raise all her children despite the hardship that she had to endure. I want all my children to have her courage and determination.

Last but never the least, to the mother of my children, Azimah Dollah, the love of my life. Thank you for giving me such wonderful, adorable and cute children. The greatest gift of all time. Thank you for the never ending love that you gave to me and the kids. We will always be by your side in good times and bad times. I want the world to know how great a mother you are. To Aleeya, you are her Supermum, to Ammar, you are his Ultramum, and to me you will always be that fantastic mother who always puts her family second to none. Love you so much!

The mother to my two kids, Azimah Dollah

This message goes to all the magnificient mothers in the whole universe!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

From Kuala Terengganu all the way to Mount Kinabalu

View from Promenade Hotel, overlooking the waterfront

It was a trip down the memory lane. I could still remember the morning I was transported along with a large group of teachers to KLIA for our first posting. At that time, Labuan was still under the administration of JPN Sabah, so I had to go to KK first before going to Labuan, which was my home for the next 8 years. The only difference now, it's been a decade of teaching and I got the chance to make another trip to Kota Kinabalu. I arrived at Kota Kinabalu Terminal 2 airport late in the evening. My friend Angah welcomed me since her school is just nearby. She took me around the town area to refresh my 'navigation system' since there has been a lot of development in the town area. I guess I still got the touch and sense of direction around the town. I really felt welcomed coming back to KK. There was always somebody I know around, my students and friends. I purposely chose Promenade Hotel because the location is at the center of everything. Overlooking from the hotel windows I could see what used to be Anjung Senja Kota Kinabalu which is now making way for a new development. Things change for the better. It was the first night for me in KK after two years I transferred back to Terengganu. I spent a restless night thinking of presenting my Commonwealth Action Research Paper to a panel of School's Inspectorate. Since the time difference between Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia is one hour, I had to sleep early because the day started early and I would be driving to Ranau the next day.
" I wish I could hibernate longer"

I woke up as early as 4a.m. and packed up all my things because I had to check out of the hotel immediately. Pn. Zaleha (The Officer from EPRD ) had rented a car so that we don't have to take a taxi that would cost us double. It was a smooth journey and eye refreshing to see all the greenery. I arrived at Pekan Ranau at 7.30am so I still have an hour before the presentation. As promised, I called my friend Shamrin as soon as I reach Ranau. He used to be my colleague back in SM Sains Labuan. It's been so long that we have not met each other.

"World's Highest Via Ferrata Sky Walking on Mount Kinbalu"

When we arrived at PKG Ranau at 8.20am, I was surprised to see that a group of school inspectorates (Nazir) were already waiting for us. I guess I was the only teacher around because the rest were either Officers from Kementerian or Nazir. Pn. Zaleha did all the introduction and she presented "Education for All" paper first. I felt a little bit nervous at the beginning, however since everybody was so interested to hear from me, I managed to deliver well. The feedback from the Nazirs were positive. I felt good because this is the first international paper that I have produced and the first time I got to present it in such occasion.

"This is the place where all the vegetables were gathered and ready to be transported"

These are some of the items sold at Kundasang vegetable market. I wish I could bring some back to Terengganu but I doubt it could be fresh when I arrive in KT.

"busy bees"

"Strawberries and Honey"

After the presentation we went straight to Kota Kinabalu town to do some shopping. Philipines Market was our prime target because everything we want is there. I'm not much a shopaholic especially when it comes to ethnic stuff.

The all new Kota Kinabalu Airport

After doing some shopping, I took Pn. Zaleha to the airport. I was amazed at the changes made, it was nothing like the old one. I took sometime to explore the new airport and I was impressed with its design. There were 10% left I guess before the construction completes. I waved Pn. Zaleha good bye and went straight to Terminal 2 KKIA. I guess this is not going to be the last trip to KK because this is the land of birth for my son Ammar. We'll come back for more. Insyaallah.

Me at Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Experience that matters the most!

Our new logo

It's good to be back writing in this blog. We had a friendly match yesterday with SMK Lembah Bidong. I almost canceled the game due to transportation problem. Luckily, with the help of Cikgu Fazli things went well and the problem was solved. Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate that. The main purpose of that game was actually to evaluate the new form four player whom had been practicing since last month. To my surprise, they amazed me. I was glad in a way that I could rest my form three players because they were having exams. Congratulation boys! It is the motivation for me to keep polishing your talent and skills. I just need more games to develop these boys and give them more experience. The next tournament is just around the corner.

Rising All Blacks star

My day started with a happy message from my sister who is now in New Zealand. She just bought me an All Blacks jersey and a tie! I just can't wait to wear them. For a true All Blacks fan like me it is really something. My idol player is always Jonah Lomu. I always love his strength and courage when he played.

Sure hope you guys enjoy this clip !
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