Ulu Klang Recreation Club (UKRC) has certainly stood time and with every year they are growing.
The club is actually 52 years old, but it is not standing like the Spotted Dog (Royal Selangor Club) or like many of the prestigious clubs.
UKRC is a community based club which rests on its humble settings and unpretentious existence.
Till today they are still fighting tooth and nail over the title of the land which was bought when they acquired the land on Aug 3rd 1957.
It has been a long drawn battle and the latest is that UKRC has been asked to sign a MOU with the local municipality to manage the club.
But UKRC led by president Andrew Gopal after having battled for so long for the rightful ownership of the club grounds are not about to throw their towel now. The battle proceeds.
However, with the dark clouds looming over the heads, it has not stopped UKRC from continuing with it's activities.
Come Saturday, will see the 9th UKRC-astro International Soccer 9s being held over two days at their club grounds.
This afternoon, a press conference was held at UKRC to announce the teams competing and their sponsors. As the title of the tournament reveals, astro are the main sponsors for the fourth consecutive year.
And if a giant corporate organisation like astro are prepared to sponsor a small club like UKRC, surely this club must be doing something right.
Puan Norzaitol Akmal Ab Halim, the assistant manager Astro SuperSports, who was present at the press conference in her speech said: "This our part of our community service contribution. We are indeed happy with the way UKRC have managed to organise the tournament and how they have built this club with better facilities with each passing year."
THE SPONSORS.....Astro's Norzaitol, the rose among thorns, poses with Andrew (fourth from left) and the rest of the sponsors for the 9th UKRC - astro International Soccer 9sIndeed, it was sweet music to the ears of Andrew and his club officials, for it only underlined that their sweat and toil to upkeep and built the club to serve the local community, has not gone unnoticed.
As usual only a small portion of all the sponsorship money is used to organise the tournament and with the bulk going to their kitty and also further improving their facilities further.
The comradeship among the members is exemplary. When Andrew realised that they had bust their budget to organise the tournament (it is learnt about RM10,000 only) and they did not have money for a band for their official dinner on Saturday, he asked the members if they could chip in.
No questions were asked and everyone chipped in and soon they have raised RM1,000 for the three piece band - Alphabeat.
Taking about UKRC and comradeship read what I wrote about them in 2005 in The Malay Mail in my column - Level Field (Read this)
Nothing has changed over the years. The comradeship has only grown further and even the new members who have joined, have fitted like a glove.
UKRC is not just about their soccer tournament. It is a one-stop recreation centre which has a gym, basketball courts, changing rooms, playing field with a pavilion overlooking it,a hall, with activities like yoga, chi-kong, line dancing, table tennis, carom, darts and junior soccer development programme to cater for both young and old.
To taste the true hospitality and see the comradeship among the members who take so much pride in their club, be present this Saturday or Sunday.
The added bonus will be to see some vintage soccer played by true sportsmen. Never mind that their heart is willing by their legs are not, it will indeed be a fun filled day of classic international football.
Twelve teams - Gold Coast Koalas (Australia), Prince of Songkla University (Thailand), Korean Football Team , Singapore Recreation Club, Football Referees Association (Singapore), Thrwhitt Old Boys (Singapore), Penang Sports Club, Taiping Chinese Recreation (Perak), Melodi Jaya FC (Johor), Royal Selangor Club and hosts, UKRC.
The champion will receive RM1,000, the challenge trophy replica and 12 medals, the runners-up, RM500, trophy and individual medals, while the losing semifinalist will receive 12 individual medals.
The Plate champion and runners-up will also be awarded individual medals.
There will be three special awards, namely - top scorer, the K. Suppiah Memorial Trophy (The Best Fair Play team) and the Ong Yu Tiang Memorial Trophy for the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Be there this weekend and witness for yourself what this small community has achieved and capable of. Kudos UKRC.