Monday 21 April 2014

Golf, for the most part, has historically been considered a men’s sport. In the ASEAN region, this is especially true with barely an opportunity for women to break into this exclusive men’s club. With this in mind, the Queen Sirikit cup — officially known as the Amateur Ladies Asia-Pacific Invitational Golf Team Championship — was founded.

At the time, no international ladies’ event existed in the region. Knowing that there were many female golfers with great potential but insufficient resources, one of the founders of the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association, Rae-Vadee T. Suwan came up with the idea to launch a national team championship to give these women a chance to further their game. They would be able to compete at higher levels and accomplish more for themselves and their countries.

Hence, the first Queen Sirikit Cup was approved and held in Bangkok, Thailand with 9 countries taking part. Today, 13 countries take part in this tournament — Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. 

The 36th Queen Sirikit Cup Championship was hosted by Malaysia in April at the Saujana Golf & Country Club. It was the 3rd time the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association had hosted the event since 1985.

It is a great honour to say that Cempaka Schools was asked to coordinate the opening and closing ceremony of this international event and that I was to be a part of it. Alongside Nadia Marissa, Auriel Yeap, Chua Zi, Samantha Lee, Anishaa Jeyakumar, Mithali Mittra, Edryna Zarif and Jia Xin, we were asked to perform a cultural dance piece for the opening ceremony. Choreographed by our dance teacher, Gloria Patie, it incorporated traditional Malay and Indian elements, while accompanied by Chinese drum players and percussionists.

One of the highlights of our performance for me was having to dance in the rain. Remember that one scene in Step Up 3 where Moose was dancing in the battle against the Chinese crew and the water was splashing everywhere and you thought it was the coolest thing ever? (you probably still do, because I know I do). That was how I felt. Despite having to face the fear of slipping and falling while dancing on top of the Chinese drums, it was our best performance of the choreography and one of my favourite dance experiences.

Students from all 3 campuses were also picked to sing the national anthems of all the countries. Kudos to all the performers for being able to learn a national anthem in a different language. I think we can all agree, the theme song ‘Women’s Spirit’ as sung by Savira Putri, Ashlyn Chin and Adeira Ariez was by far the most catchy song we have heard in a while.

Calypso Jam. If you do not know what that is, youtube it. Now after listening to it, picture Mr Gerald grooving to it while playing the violin. Best image ever. All performers should learn to perform like him. The amount of passion he has for the instrument is astounding. Next up was a percussion item. Percussioning is a skill I will never be able to master.

I had so much fun performing and I am glad I agreed to take part in this. On the bus ride back, all I could think about was the nostalgia I was going to get from this. Enjoy the short clip below taken during one of our rehearsals! 

PC: Sharizah Shihab, Class of 2014

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