Monday, 20 October 2014


We have just had an excellent day of competitive sport in which KYUEM played host to college students from INTEC, KMB, KMS and KTJ. It was wonderful to see so many active young people here and to witness the selfless nature of true sportsmanship - something I feel is missing these days in the professional arena.

I was struck, however, by a small number of participants who were seen to be limping after having played football, netball or basketball. I am conscious of the fact that while we regard sport as a healthy and worthwhile leisure pursuit, there is always the chance of physical injury. Of course, we cannot expect our active young people to avoid risk, but at the same time, sensible precautions could and should be taken whenever possible.

In discussion with our Bursar today, he made a couple of very sensible observations about risk avoidance. We have lots of students here who like to stay fit by jogging around the KYUEM campus, often quite early in the morning. I am usually at my desk by 6.00 am and I am heartened to see these dedicated folks running outside my office window while it is still dark. One of the Bursar's comments was that our early-bird athletes should not run too close to the kerbside. Apart from the danger of falling into a storm drain because of the murkiness, it is well known that we do have the occasional snake on campus. They, too, favour close proximity to drains and the sides of the roadways. Running in the centre of the road, is therefore, a sensible precaution.

A second comment (and one that we have repeated many times) is to stop exercising out of doors during a thunderstorm. We may all assume that lightning strikes are rare, but this doesn't mean they never happen, so why court danger unnecessarily? Exercise by all means, but not outside when the electricity overhead is a real health risk.

An important safety issue concerns college bicycles. As you know we have lots of these and they are often used by students off campus. We ask people to be back onsite by 7.00 pm at the latest. Our bikes do not have lights, which is reason enough to be back before darkness falls. Many of us have also noticed students riding 2, 3 or even 4 abreast along the roads close to the college. I accept that the roads around Lembah Beringin are not very busy, but that means we need to be even more safety conscious. I personally have often witnessed drivers coming from the Golf Club failing to stop at the T-junction leading to the highway in one direction, and to the college in the other. A careless car driver is much more lethal than a careless bike rider. The latter needs to be especially vigilant at all times.

As I say, we cannot entirely remove the risk of injury from our physical and sporting lives. We can, nonetheless, take sensible steps to reduce an unnecessary amount of it.

I wish you all a pleasant few days' break for Deepavali.

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