SMK Maxwell’s roster of sports greats
SMK Maxwell has produced athletes who have made their mark on the national stage
THE school, which turns 100 this year, has produced many of the nation’s sporting heroes, particularly in football and hockey.
BACK in the day, SMK Maxwell was known as a training ground to prepare students to become national representatives in the sporting arena, including the Olympic Games.
Now in its 100th year, the allboys school in Jalan Tun Ismail here, known for its unique Hshaped design, has produced Maxwellians who have made their mark in Malaysia’s sporting events, particularly in football and hockey.
Among its famous athletes are former national football players Datuk Dell Akbar Khan, Zainal Abidin Hassan, Yeo Swee Hock, Azhar Md Sharif and two-time Olympic hockey player Maninderjit Singh, who were all groomed for excellence behind Maxwell’s great pillars.
Maninderjit, defender in the national hockey team during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, reminisced about the days when he and his team held their training sessions every day after school.
“The sportsmanship was so ingrained within us Maxwellians that every day after school, from 4pm to 7pm, we would be at the fields to practise for either hockey, football or sepak takraw.
“Then, later in the evening, we would play traditional games, like konda-kondi,” he said at an event held at the school recently to commemorate the school’s former national athletes.
The event was held as a precursor to the school’s 100th anniversary celebration on Sept 30.
Former Maxwellians are invited to a reunion on Aug 26 at the school (10am onwards).
Maninderjit said he had fond memories of the school.
“It was so much fun. In those
days, the Maxwell sports team was well known for its achievements, even though we had to go to a nearby field to practise as the school’s compound was not big enough,” he said.
Zainal Abidin, who won the 1989 Sea Games with his football teammates, Dollah Salleh and Serbegeth Singh, among others, told the New Sunday Times that his decision to study at SMK Maxwell propelled him to greater heights in life as a sportsman.
“Even during my time, the school was already famous for sports, especially football.
“I knew then that I wanted to learn from the best.
“At Maxwell, we had renowned coaches, including S. Thevendira Raj and his brother S. Poovanendira Raj, who trained Dell’s team,” said Zainal Abidin.
“I aspired to excel in both
sports and academics, and I am glad that I had achieved both by attending the school.”
He said what he valued the most about the school was its celebration of unity and racial diversity.
“As Maxwellians, we are very close with each other.
“I think that is why we could perform well as a team in sports and individually in our studies.”
Dell said he was part of the school’s football team from 1961 to 1965 and subsequently went on to represent Malaysia.
However, an injury at the age of 24 forced him to hang up his football jersey and saw him joining the police force.
He recalled that when he decided to join the police force, many of his colleagues joked if a Maxwellian could become a police officer.
“When I first joined the police force, some of my police friends
were sceptical if a Maxwellian could be police officer... if we were disciplined enough to last in the force.
“After all, apart from our athleticism, we were also known for our little mischief !” said Dell, who is currently Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd executive vice-president (Security, Safety, Health and Environment, Facilities Management and Parking Services).
Dell went on to become the police chief of Kuala Lumpur (retired in
He also held the post of Football Association of Malaysia secretary-general from 2000 to 2005.
The school’s Recreational and Social Maxwellian 79-83 (Keras) club president Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Ali said the school alumni members were invited to the reunion on Aug 26.
He said tickets were now on sale at RM100 each.
For more details, alumni members can visit its Facebook page, “Kami Warga SMK Maxwell 1917 Sehingga Kini”.
Datuk Dell Akbar Khan with SMK Maxwell alumni during the launch of the school’s 100-year celebration at SMK Maxwell in Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, last week.
Zainal Abidin Hassan
Datuk Dell Akbar Khan