Malaysian students gathering for sporting celebration

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More than 300 Malaysian tertiary students will be in Dunedin next weekend for the 2016 Bersatu Games. Bersatu Games organising
committee chairman Eric
Lim said the games was
held every year and
Christchurch,
Wellington, Palmerston
North, Auckland and Dunedin took turns hosting it. ‘‘It’s a tournament for all Malaysian tertiary students in which we want to promote sportsmanship,’’ Mr Lim said. ‘‘Rather than only focusing on their studies, it is an opportunity participate in sports and build on other values.’’ It was an opportunity to catch-up with old friends as well as make new ones, he said. ‘‘Malaysian students from all over New Zealand can get together and get to know students from other parts of the country as well.’’
It was important for students to have balance in their lives, he said.
‘‘You have to make time for study and time for yourself such as playing sports with your friends.’’
The tournament comprises a range of sports including basketball, tennis, table tennis, badminton, ultimate frisbee, football, futsal, debating, volleyball and netball.
It would also include the traditional Malaysian sport Sepak Takraw, also known as kickvolleyball, in which competitors use their feet, knees, chests and heads to get the rattan ball over the net.
Representatives from the High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington would also attend the tournament.
Mr Lim said a lot of Malaysian people studied in New Zealand because they felt welcome and for the quality of the education provided.
‘‘It’s a good place for us to pursue a degree and it’s a multicultural country. We feel at home and people are very welcoming and friendly. There are also a number of Malaysian communities here already, so we have somewhere to turn to if we need help or support.’’
The 2016 Bersatu Games run from Thursday, June 30, to Monday, July 4, and sports will be played at UniPol, Logan Park and the Edgar Centre.