Monday, January 28, 2019


Blogger Satwant Singh just informed that triple international Daphne Boudville passed away this morning at the Klang Hospital.
She would have turned 77 this May.
Picture shows Daphne (third from left) at the OCM Hall of Fame induction in 2013,

Below is an Icon piece I did on her in May in 2014 a week after her 72nd birthday.
May she rest in peace,
Unheralded queen of sports
DAPHNE BOUDVILLE is married to sports and her whole life till today revolves around it.
Daphne who turned 72 last Saturday never got married because her first and only love was sports.
While many who know Daphne will associate as a hockey player for almost three decades, but many may not know that she was also a national athlete winning the 800m bronze medal at the 1965 SEAP Games in Kuala Lumpur and a national footballer player with the first national women’s team in 1965.
Besides, these three sports she was also actively involved at State level in netball, badminton and competed in cross-country runs and big walks.
“I loved sports from a very young age and would play any sports on the streets near my home in Peel Road to late at night under the street lights,” said Daphe who is still active doing her daily jogs and walks to keep fit and healthy.
“I was a tomboy and used to play hockey, football and badminton against the boys in my neighbourhood,” said Daphne the fifth in a family of nine.
“At the age of seven I trained on my own in the evenings after school by running around the field just to enjoy the fresh air and gain stamina.
“The training increased my appetite for more activities.”
Daphne said that her first hockey stick was a bamboo stick.
“Few schoolboys, girls and I explored the jungle nearby and I cut a strong bamboo stick and brought it home to shape it, sand papered it, oiled it to make it my first hockey stick.
“With that stick I enjoyed hours of hockey from the age of nine. A hockey team was formed at my school (Peel Road Convent) by the sports teacher Miss Lee. Soon more girls were interested in the game and inter-school tournaments were held and we emerged champions,” said Daphne who used canvass rubber studded shoes until she could afford a decent pair of boots in the 70s.
Daphne said that she still remembers the days when she used to play hockey every day after school at a small field which was close to a pond and lost so many hockey balls which landed in the pond.
“It was distressing moments when the balls went into the pond because we did not have money to buy new balls.
“It was then we played under the streetlights with the boys on sandy patches. It was here I improved on stick work, flicks, basics skills, stopping, hitting and pushing accurately.
“Then we moved on to play at the Kampong Pandan indoor cement courts and played in six-a-side and nine-a-side tournaments, which was a sheer joy.”
Daphne said that although there were no monetary gains for being involved in sports then, it was sheer happiness and the opportunity to play for school, district, state and nation later that kept her going.
Apart from hockey during her schooldays, Daphne took part in athletics in an era where there was only 100 and 200 metres.
And at the age of 16, Daphne was selected to play for Selangor and went on to play for 26 years, while she turned out for the nation for 21 years and earned 450 caps and won many titles including Asian champion in 1974.
Daphne attached with the Public Service Department worked in various Government departments which saw her compete in the Government Services Games in various sports.
“I was lucky as a as PSD staff, leave to attend training and compete in competitions were never a problem.”
However, she said that having to compete in many sports and various levels required her to be fit and strong.
“I took care of myself. I did my own training. My training was highly intense, individual and self-motivated.
“I used to cycle from my home in Peel Road to Batu Caves to run up the 272 steps up and down and cycle back to strengthen my legs and muscles.
“When we got a small daily meal allowance during training camps, I would use the money to eat steaks, eggs and fruits, while many of my teammates will eat instant noodles.
“I took up sports seriously because of sheer joy, my dedication and commitment to the sport, the sacrifices I was prepared to make and my interest in it.
“Sports in return has moulded me by the ability to take defeat in my stride. It has also enhanced my character building, thinking power to be logical and to find solutions and solving problems.”
For all her dedication to sports, it was sad that she was not honoured with the Sportswoman of the Year award despite being nominated by the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Federation as their nominee for the award in 1965, 1977 and 1978.
But she finally and duly recognised when the Olympic Council of Malaysia inducted her into their Hall of Fame last year and the Malaysian Hockey Federation had named her among hockey legends of the country a few years earlier.
Daphne is still giving back to the sports, as on Sundays she trains four boys from the age of seven to ten in badminton.
“I play badminton on Sunday and saw these boys come to the courts regularly and were passionate about the sport. I offered to coach them and they took up the offer,” said Daphne who is also an advance qualified hockey coach and had coached the national Under-21 team in 1979.
Those who know Daphne will associate her with her Vespa which used for 20 years. Seeing Daphne coming to training rain or shine with her ever faithful Vespa was a familiar sight.
“I made a grave mistake when I sold it after I retired and was working with a Japanese company who nominated me three years in a row as the ‘Best Employee’. On the third year, they gave me a locally assembled motorcycle.
“I sold the Vespa and after two years of using the motorcycle, it was giving me too much problem and I sold it. I now walk or take the bus.”
Asked why she does not want to get another Vespa, she said: “I cannot afford it with my pension.”