10 Mac, 2010


Nazir gets down to business at the football pitch


SUCCESSFUL banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak traded his corporate suit for sports attire for a few hours recently.

The CIMB Group group chief executive who came clad in a blue shorts and jersey was joined by the CIMB foundation chief executive officer Datuk Shukiri Hussin at the CIMB Foundation YFA Bintang Muda Junior football training programme at the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) ground in Pandan Jaya.

Nazir not only spent time with the juniors but also joined them in a match.

He also gave away the team’s attire to the under-12 side who will be taking part in the National Junior League this weekend.

You cannot catch me: Nazir (centre) showing off his skills during
a friendly match with junior players from YFA Bintang Muda.

Nazir, who is also the team manager, said they were looking forward to winning the title this year.

“Last year we qualified for the quarter-finals and I am happy to join these boys in training. I remember my younger days at the University of Bristol in London where I was the captain of the team. Playing with the boys was enjoyable.

“I love sports and it can be used to instil good values like teamwork, sportsmanship, friendship and fair play among the players.

“It must be remembered that football is team effort. The strikers alone cannot win the match. The defenders, midfielders and the goalkeeper all play an important part in the team’s success,’’ said Nazir.

From its humble beginnings with only three students training in Bandar Baru Sentul, the CIMB Foundation YFA Bintang Muda now has 635 trainees. The trainees in six age groups - Under-10, Under-12, Under-14, Under-18 and League - attend training at six venues - Bandar Baru Sentul, Pandan Indah, Taman Ikan Mas in Cheras, Sungai Buloh, Bukit Bintang and Sentul.

Have a break: Trainees enjoying some food and drinks during the break.

The programme founder and technical director, N. Radakrishnan, said they were grateful to CIMB Foundation for their assistance and sponsorship.

“We have impressive results in local age group competitions,’’ said Radakrishnan.

Last year, after winning the Under-8, Under-10 and Under-16 age groups, the CIMB Foundation YFA Bintang Baru became the overall champions in the Royal Selangor Club Invitational football competition. They were also champions in the Intercontinental Cup after winning the Under-10 and Under-12 age groups.

Nazir said they believed in investing in junior development programmes.

“The juniors are our future and should be trained to become professionals.

“We hope to see some of the players in the programme become professional football players in the coming years,’’ said Nazir.

Shukri said the foundation had allocated a budget of RM315,000 for the programme.


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