It is with great sadness we learnt the death of Ms. Vivian May Soars, one of our dearest comrades of women’s hockey in Malaysia. Ms. Vivian passed away on Friday (13/8/2009) at 4am at the University Malaya Medical Centre due to heart problems. It is indeed a great loss for the MWHA and women’s hockey in Malaysia. Ms. Vivian has truly been a lady with such grace, dignity and strength to pursue what she believed were the right of women. She has always been a testimony for women empowerment. She will be greatly missed by all of us in the hockey fraternity.
Ms. Vivian was actively involved as a player beginning in the late 40s. She played for Selangor and represented many prominent clubs such as the Selangor Club. In the early 1960s, Ms. Vivian became a member of the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association, representing the Selangor Hockey Association as a delegate. In 1971, Ms. 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. Enroute Edinburgh Malaysia visited Denmark where the team played three matches with State and Club sides and which were all won by Malaysia. The team was coached by Ms. Vivian. Her passion and dedication as a teacher further complemented her involvement in hockey. Ms. Vivian moved to Malacca in the 1980s 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. Ms.Vivian moved back to Selangor to play an integral role in the Federal Hockey Association to organize two concurrent World tournaments, the World Cup and the Continental Cup in 1983. In 1984, Ms. Vivian became a Vice President in the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association. Ms. Vivian 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, Ms. Vivian played an important role in representing Malaysian women. Malaysia was represented by two delegates, Miss Vivian Soars (Vice President) and Mrs. Dororthy Sibert Bailey (Hon. Secretary) at the Asian Women’s Hockey Federation Council Meeting at Madras, India from 25th to 27th January, 1975.
Ms. Vivian Soars has indeed been a remarkable lady which made a great difference for Malaysian women’s hockey. The MWHA will greatly miss her but will ensure her dreams for Malaysian women’s hockey to reach great heights will always be held dear to our hearts and be pursued relentlessly.
Ms. Vivian’s funeral will be held at the St. Paul’s church in Petaling Jaya, Selangor at 9am on 17/8/2009.
Dr Shamala Subramaniam (Hon. Secretary MWHA)