Malaysian Sports Schools (MSSM) 55th Field and Track Meet

The MSSM sports meet must be the oldest school sports’ meet in the country – almost as old as the country’s independence. The 55th meet was officially opened last night in Stadium Darul Makmur, Kuantan, Pahang. It was my first experience attending such a meet after such a long time. The last time when I was still in school in Seremban. The opening ceremony was officiated by by the DG of Education with the usual rigmarole of march past, parade,marching  bands, torch run, fire crackers etc.

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It started to rain heavily during the students performance and I could see the DG was animatedly gesturing the students to end their performance as it was really pouring. But they persisted. I can understand their predicament. They have prepared for this for months, practicing for hours on end. Nothing could stop them from their moment of glory in the limelight. We were worried about their safety, especially with the rolling thunder and lightning. After much persuasion from the officials who had to come down from the stage in the poring rain to signal the students to stop only they started to file back into the tunnel.

For this 7-day event, we brought both of our outdoor broadcasts lorries. The OB 2 had to be driven in the dark for a few kilometres from the station as the wiring seemd to have gone kaput. It is an ageing lorry, almost 20 years old. The engine might be purring well but other pars are falling apart. Now I have to think of ways and means to transport the lorry back to KL once the event ended on Thursday. Another meeting with the boss is in order. With 85 people involved, this must be the biggest event we are covering in recent years almost as big as the ASEAN School Games in 2011. Much credit must be given to the production team which managed to streamline this logistical nightmare. Budget and time are very tight. We even had to start setting up at 2am last Friday immediately after the Teachers day event in Nilai. The same set of crew had to trudged to Kuantan immediately after the event in Nilai. To make  matter worse, the event in Nilai that was supposed to finish at 5.30 pm did not even start by 8.30pm. We finish our wrap-up meeting at 1am and the crew only reached their hotel at 2.00am. By the afternoon they had to repack their equipment and move to Kuantan. Tempers were thin, nerves were frayed but fortunately everyone was calm even with the OB2 problems. Much credit to the team.

On the first night, EduwebTV managed to obtain 1.3million hits. Maybe for the opening ceremony, many people were interested. I am hoping to get some sort of consistency in terms of viewing hits for the duration of the games. People has been accusing us of not optimising funds allocated for the us and the costs of recording events like this is too high. If we can consistently get more than a million hits per day, it would have been worth it.

For the uninitiated, for events like this, there are three or four simultaneous events. You need t least two cameras per event. Eight cameras would be required to cover all the events. At the same time we are also having a news gathering  team that sum up the overall happenings for the day. So thats explains why we have 85 people on site for this edition of MSSM Track and Field Meet.

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I must take my hats off to our marathon commentator,  Hazrin, who single handedly do the running commentary  in every event day in and day out. He was also the compere for the three-day Hari Guru event in Seremban. The job is ardous and the pay is miniscule. Not many people are interested. Hazrin is one committed guy. He is not even in the education fraternity! He’s been helping us for years-compering events,  moderating fora, writing scripts,and commenting. His commitment is so strong, he even brought his own paraphernalia such as backdrop, bunting, binoculars for the event. Not to mention staying up till 3am and taking leave from his daily jobs to help us. Unsung heroes like this make it all worthwhile.

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