Almost every one of us has participated in some sporting activities at some point of our lives. For most, sport is just another recreational activity we perform to stay hale and healthy. However, for some, it is their life and they will devote a great amount of time, money and effort to excel in their sport of choice. Some have done so well that they become sporting legends and are fondly remembered and spoken of till today.
One such legend is Michael Doraisamy. Michael was born in India on October 2, 1937. He migrated to Malaya at the tender age of three along with his parents and settled in Sungai Petani, Kedah. From an early age he showed his aptitude for sports. He would play various games such as hockey, cricket and football. But his greatest love was hockey, not the kind that is played on artificial turf today but the one played on grass of yesteryears.
He attended the prestigious Ibrahim Secondary School in Sungai Petani which had produced many outstanding sportsmen for Kedah and the country. The association brought Michael closer to playing hockey at a higher level and this spurred him on.
At the age of 15 he was picked to play for Selangor and eventually was selected for the national team. Incidentally, Michael was the first ‘Kedahan’ to attend hockey training at YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) Ipoh, a noted hockey training centre in the country then.
Michael’s prowess in the game earned him a place in the exalted hockey hall of fame when he was nominated Hockey Sportsman of the Year in 1965 and again in 1966. He excelled in football and cricket too and represented Malaysia in both games.
Michael captained the national hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and again at the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok. He was a member of the hockey team that won a bronze medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in 1962 and was with the football team that bagged a bronze at the 1967 Asian Cup Football.
After his playing days were over, Michael took up coaching, as his love for hockey was so overwhelming. He coached the Malaysian Police Ladies Team.
For aspiring sportsmen, he has this simple advice for them, “It’s important to know that there are no miracles and no shortcuts to greatness. You’ve to love what you do and must train hard if you want to become a champion,” said the one-time sporting great.
Michael now resides in Ipoh in his humble home in Hock Lee Garden. The septuagenarian keeps fit by walking and jogging, whenever time permits. He leads an easy-going and stress-free lifestyle, taking things as they come.
“You can’t go seriously wrong with that outlook,” he enthused.