The Malaysian Hockey Federation National Under 16 championship for the NSC Trophy, sponsored by Nestle (M) Berhad and organised by the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association gets underway this Friday, March 11,2011.
A sponsorship presentation ceremony for the championships was held at the KL Hockey Stadium.
MHF Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad, National Sports Council Director of Sports Management Tuan Haji Jalil Abdullah, Nestle (M) Sports Sponsorship Manager Ng Ping Loong, Malaysian Hockey Federation Secretary Maninderjit Singh and KLHA Secretary V.Rajamanickam were in attendance at the ceremony where MILO presented RM35, 000 in cash as sponsorship towards the championship.
“The National Sports Council encourages events at the age group so as to keep the youngsters on the competitive edge. Tournaments such as this provide them with an opportunity to gain experience competitively at a young age and it will serve them well in the years to come,” said Tuan Haji Jalil.
“It is good to note that almost all affiliates are participating and I hope the teams will display a high standard of hockey and continue to strive towards developing hockey in the country.”
A total of 15 teams will battle it out over nine days to be crowned champions.
Thirteen state teams, with the exception of Sarawak are in the fray together with Royal Malaysian Police. The Malaysian Armed Forces is the other notable absentee from MHF affiliates. Also making an appearance is Singapore.
The teams have been divided into two groups and at the end of the preliminary round, the top two teams in each group will play in the cross over semifinals.
Group A comprises of defending champions Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Malacca, Pahang, PDRM and Sabah.
Group B will see eight teams, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Penang, Terengganu and Singapore.
A total of 53 matches including semis, 3r/4th placing and final will be played at Stadium Hoki Kuala Lumpur and Stadium Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia.
One significant factor in this years championship is that the two coaches of the teams that contest in the final will be given the opportunity to join the National Under 16 team as attachment coaches.
The National Under 16 team will be coached by former international and FIH High Performance coach Lim Chiow Chuan who will be assisted by another two former internationals, Lailin Abu Hassan goalkeeper coach M. Nadarajah.
The National Under 16 training squad will be selected from this tournament and they will participate in the qualifying rounds of the Tun Razak Cup in April and May before participating in the Four Nation Invitational in Manheim, Germany from 10-13 June, 2011. The other three countries in the fray are Germany, Holland and Belgium.
For the Tun Razak Cup, the National Under 16 team has been placed in the North Zone where they will face Penang, Kedah and Perlis in the qualifiers before the tournament proper in July.
In paying tribute to the teams and MHF, Nestle (M) Sports Sponsorship Manager Ng Ping Loong said that Milo has been long associated with hockey, in particular at the junior level.
"Before the introduction of the Under 16 competition, we were supporting the Under 15 event. And we are happy to see that almost all states are participating," said Ping Loong.
"We hope to see an 100 percent participation from states next year and I do hope Sarawak will enter the competition in 2012."
All the teams, with the exception of Singapore, will receive a participation grant of RM3, 000 that is jointly contributed by Nestle (M) Berhad and the National Sports Council