FRIENDS and relatives often ask me what sport I’m interested in. They also find it strange that I’m not a fan of any football club, nor totally excited that the World Cup is going on.


But even though I’m not a big fan of sports, I have always admired the ability it has to bring people together.


Physical education was one of my favourite subjects when I was in secondary school. It was during this period when you would get the chance to leave the classroom, head out to the field and just have fun outdoors.


It didn’t even matter how good you were at sports, or where you came from. All that mattered was you participated and had fun. No one was left behind.


Unfortunately, being one of those who weren’t particularly athletic, I made little effort when it came to participating in competitions or friendlies. My lack of interest in anything sports-related also made me turn down invites from friends and family alike to catch live telecasts of badminton or football matches.


In hindsight, I’ve missed out on many opportunities to bond with my family and friends. When I was younger, I would catch my mother and my grandfather sitting in the living room watching football matches together. I heard all the sighs and cheers, and saw the smiles on their faces when their favourite team won. It made for good father-daughter bonding time!


And now with the World Cup under way, perhaps it is time for me to buck up and challenge myself to learn more about the sport. I’ve decided to make it a point to watch a few games (even if they’re repeats) with my family and friends. I’ll be reading up about the teams and all their notable players as well.


With all that effort put in, maybe some day you’ll see me working as a sports anchor!


I’m kidding, of course. That’ll never happen.


But in all seriousness, you don’t have to be physically out there on that field or court or pitch to experience the beauty of sport. Just look at all the crowds of Malaysians who gather at mamak stalls during those major sporting events, like the recent Thomas Cup finals. That’s when our collective identity as Malaysians shines through the most.


And whenever our Harimau Malaya plays an important game, it unites all of us as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Manchester United or Chelsea fan!


There’s just no denying it – sports has and will continue to function as a glue of sorts to bond us with our friends, family and fellow Malaysians. And coming from someone as bad at sports as I am, that’s really saying something. 


The writer is a member of The Star’s BRATs young journalist programme. To join the programme, message us at or email us at



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