Opening ceremony welcomes world’s best to Malaysia

April 29, 2019 @ 1:50 UTC

Malaysia produced a spectacular explosion of colour and culture for the opening ceremony of the 2019 FIT World Cup, which has attracted 2,400 of the world’s best touch players to the garden city of Putrajaya.

The Touch World Cup – the biggest ever in the tournament’s history – will run between 29 April – 4 May, with the Datuk Dr. Aminuddin Bin Hassim, President of Perbadanan Putrajaya and Erik Acker, President of Federation of International Touch officially opening the global sporting showcase.

Before a crowd of thousands of international visitors and local dignitaries, also including Mr Hasnata Bin Hassan, Director, Recreational Sports Development representing Youth Sports, Assistant Commissioner of Police Roslyn Bin Hassan, and FIT’s Secretary General, Mr. Bill Ker the ceremony opened with military precision.

Leading the way was the Malaysian Military band and a cultural war dance performed by the Armed Forces Training Academy and the Malaysian National Defence University.

The precision continued with a Tetris-like team march past that introduced the 117 teams from 26 nations supported by the drums and trumpets of the military band. Many of the national squads chose to march in traditional dress including Samoa and Pacific neighbors Fiji who count among their number, Suva rugby star Enale Malele, a candidate for the flying Fijian’s Rugby World Cup outfit for Japan later this year.

The audience reserved a special welcome for the host nation Malaysia, who have teams in the Women’s Open division, Mixed Open, and the Men’s 40s category. A proud Datuk Dr. Aminuddin Bin Hassim was impressed with the opening and the prestige the Touch World Cup is bringing to the Putrajaya region. "We hope by organizing this international event Putrajaya will cement its reputation as an international sports city.

"This World Cup hopefully will instill friendship and camaraderie among the teams that are competing. A positive spirit of competitiveness should be nurtured throughout the event in order to produce a healthy generation with sports as part of its lifestyle.

FIT’s President Acker thanked Datuk Dr. Aminuddin Bin Hassim and the Malaysian government for its support and urged those participating to enjoy the many attractions Malaysia offers. "We are in a country that is at the centre of cultural and commercial currents. I am sure you will enjoy Malaysia, its history and its people," Mr. Acker added. "It is a place that gives more meaning to the vision of our federation, which is 'to connect communities worldwide.'"

A series of athlete’s oaths from Malaysian team member, Malihah Naureen Binti Syamsir Ali as well as Australian Men’s 50s team member Robin Day and referee Luke McKenzie followed before a vibrant Malaysian traditional dance performed by a local dance troupe, RhythmUp Show. The ceremony closed with the official opening of the 9th Touch World Cup by president Acker.

Article by Anthony O'Brien