Saturday, March 08, 2003

Still keeping fit at 80


EIGHTY-YEAR-OLD Tan Huckgay may not be involved in sports as he used to be but he still makes it a point to keep fit. 

Huckgay and his wife, who had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, displaying the former's trophies and medals.

The octogenarian, who celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary last month, used to be active in athletics, football, basketball, hockey, weightlifting and wrestling. 

Huckgay said he had retired from competition in 1996 following the advice of his children and grandchildren.  

“They felt I should take a break and relax. But I still want to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” he added at his residence in Bandar Kinrara.  

“So I just do light exercises with clubs and dumbbells. I also go for brisk walking and do some gardening. 

“You know something? The clubs I am using are over 100 years old. They were given to me by my father. And I have been using them since I first got involved in sports.”  

Surprisingly, Huckgay, a father of three children, was not involved in any sport during his schooldays. He studied at the Victoria Institution and worked as an assistant cashier at Chartered Bank. 

After leaving school, Huckgay joined the Selangor Chinese Recreation Club (SCRC) as a member. He played as a goalkeeper and SCRC were the kingpins of Selangor then.  

Huckgay played for Selangor in the Malaya Cup for almost 10 years until 1956. His teammates included the late S. Govindarajoo, Ghani Minhat and Datuk Harun Idris. 

He has many fond memories as a football player. He still remembers Selangor's semi-final match against Kelantan in Kota Baru. The match ended in favour of Selangor. However, the Kelantan players could not accept the result and there was a big fight. 

Huckgay (second from left) with other KL wrestlers during his younger days.

He was also a member of the KL Wrestlers who took part in a competition in Singapore in 1945. The organisers paid $150 to each wrestler. 

Huckgay said $150 was a big amount at that time and they were also provided with lodging and food.  

”However, the money was immaterial. We loved what we were doing,'' said Huckgay. 

As an athlete, he took part in the long jump, high jump, 400m, 800m and 10,000m. He cleared five feet and eight inches in a competition at the YMCA ground in Kuala Lumpur. 

Huckgay created an Asian veteran record in 1983 when he clocked 70.0 for the 400m.  

Huckgay said he was able to be active in sports because he had a supporting wife in Wong Hoi Lin. Although she was not active in sports, she gave him all the support.  

Any regrets? 

“Yes. I never had the chance to play at the Merdeka Stadium. All the big matches were then played at the TPCA ground. 

“Also, none of my children seem to be interested in sport. I don’t know why. But they have done well in their studies and are all well off,'' Huckgay added. 

He is keen to meet old friends. He can be contacted at 03-8076 3624. 

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