Deaf Lions make sporting history with silver medal at Malaysia Deaf Games
21 June, 2014
Singapore's Deaf Lions made the country proud by clinching the silver medial in the Malaysia Deaf Sports Games 2014. (Photo by SportCares)
Singapore’s Deaf Lions played in the final of the Malaysia Deaf Sports Games, the first time in history since the games’ inception in 1985. With the score tied 0-0 until the waning minutes of the game, the Deaf Lions saw their championship chances slip through their fingers as they conceded a single goal to Terengganu, losing by a final score of 1-0.
“It was heartbreaking when the opponent scored in the dying minutes,” Deaf Lions captain Muhammad Muhsin Bin Johari said. However “we are still winners because we made history.”
Deaf Lions captain Muhammad Muhsin Bin Johari (left) receiving an award from Mr. Sam Tan, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. (Photo by SportCares)
The friends, family, and supporters who greeted the team at the Singapore Association for the Deaf today couldn’t agree more. Waiting among the smiling faces and the waving Team Singapore red flags was Sam Tan, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
“The Deaf Lions are pushing the boundaries [while] bringing joy and glory to Singapore,” Minister Sam Tan said. “They inspire us.” In celebrating their achievement of bringing home the silver medal, we express "a sense of friendship, a sense of support, and a sense of camaraderie.”
Since March this year, the Deaf Lions have been training under SportCares Foundation, at its Singapore Sports School branch of the Saturday Night Lights football programme. “We would like to thank SportCares [and Coach Buhari] for training the team well every Saturday night,” President of the Deaf Sports Association (Singapore), Mr. Loh Eng Meng said. “That’s why we have been able to do so well in Malaysia.”
President of the Deaf Sports Association (Singapore), Mr. Loh Eng Meng (left) presenting SportCares Assistant Director Laura Reid with a token of appreciation. (Photo by SportCares)
David Ong, one of the oldest members on the team, having played for the Deaf Lions 13 years ago in 2001, chimed in: “The coaches have guided us in our tactics and technical skills.”
For the players, though, the changes have extended far beyond their results on the field.
“Attitude is the thing that has changed the most since joining SNL,” Deaf Lions captain, Muhsin, said: “Before we would be fighting like enemies but with the coaches there are no longer any arguments between us on the field.”
Sport can help people change the way they live and see the world.
"Sport transcends boundaries. You guys are living proof of that,” SportCares Assistant Director Laura Reid said.
“This is just the beginning, we are with you for the long run,”
If the team could play their way into the finals after just a few months in SNL, imagine the history that is yet to be written by the Deaf Lions.
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