From the 60's onwards Negri Sembilan hockey had 3 districts with their respective schools and coaches as power centres of hockey. In Seremban then there was St Paul's Institution (SPI) with Lawrence Van Huizen and William Fidelis, King George the Fifth School (KGV) with the late Ho Koh Chye, whereas Kuala Pilah had Tunku Mahmud School (TMS) with Mithal and finally Tampin with Tunku Besar School (TBS), had the mercurial person V Sivapathasundram.
Popularly known as Siva, he not only transformed the school TBS as a key hockey school but also the district of Tampin. Many knew of Siva through his yeoman service to hockey but in fact his 1st love was cricket. Indeed this is where he differed from the other hockey coaches in that he also developed TBS into a school cricket force in Negri Sembilan where they took the State championship by beating KGV and SPI who then had schoolboy cricket internationals. In both hockey and cricket he extended his selfless service beyond TBS to the Tampin District by ensuring that the district was a key player in Negri's hockey and cricket leagues.
V Sivapathasundram is 3rd in a family of 6 and was a student in Segamat English School in Johore. During his schooldays he was a state player in cricket, more of a bowler and turned out for the Combined Schools in hockey. 2 of his other brothers are also known in the sporting world ie V Yogeswaran a former national trainee in hockey, presently in New Zealand and V Masalamy a renowned sports administrator in Negri Sembilan.
Siva and his siblings were not born with "silver spoons in their mouths" as their father was a lorry driver with JKR. They all are self made individuals who, through helping one another, worked their way in life. Siva went to Brinsford in the UK for his teacher's training in 1961 and returned in 1963 and joined TBS as his one and only school till his retirement 32 years later.
1st of his boys to don national colours in hockey was a N Palanisamy who in 1971 and 1975 represented Malaysia in the World Cup and 1976 in the Montreal Olympics.This was followed by many others including his own son Dr Brian Jayhan Siva, who is currently a medical specialist in Australia and the current national goalkeeper S Kumar. He literally groomed the kids from a young age and watches them blossom into national stars.
He was a strict disciplinarian and did not hesitate to enforce it in his uncompromising manner. Something most of his boys are fully aware of. This at times tended to upset the hierarchy in hockey, who have the natural ability of easily sweeping matters under the carpet. Siva was "head strong" and would only call " a spade a spade". This approach of his was difficult for the sports administrators who played "politics"to accept. This in a way explains why he prematurely resigned as Assistant Secretary in MHF and also as Team Manager of one of the national teams.
His period in sports administration also included as Secretary of Negri Sembilan Hockey Association (NSHA) and MHF Umpires Board. He held many positions in Tampin District Hockey Association including lately as Deputy President. Indeed his creative nature in hockey was such that he was trying to get a full astroturf pitch for Tampin , not withstanding the fact TBS was given a 2nd hand pitch from Seremban. The other big picture in hockey he was pursuing was a ground for indoor hockey in Tampin. Like many things the bureaucracy slows and even attempts at times to kill the enthusiasm of the rarest of rare breed of people like Siva. Yet! Siva worked with time and tried to derive the best and probably this explains why he was successful in turning Tampin as a "bastion" for hockey in Malaysia.
As i attempt to sing the praises of V Sivapthasundram's yeoman service to sports, i must say that he was not given the due recognition that he fully deserved. What is interesting is that he did not go seeking for such glory nor rubbed shoulders with people to have the fame. He could have done it but his upbringing of a self made person did not permit him to do such things. I am sure what he should have deserved in this mortal world which was not accorded to him, would be waiting to be bestowed to him by the divine forces in his new paradise.
Yes! V Sivapthasundram at the age of 68, in his own quiet manner and style bade farewell to us this evening. This is him ie not one for ceremony rather a person who wanted the job to be done as he chose to depart this world. He is survived by his wife and 3 children and to them may i on behalf of all those who knew Siva and also those who have heard of him or shall hear of him, take this solemn moment to express our sympathy and condolence to the family on his demise. His selfless service to mankind would assure V Sivapathasundram divine blessing.
Good Bye Siva as our beloved friend, who was a devoted teacher cum dedicated coach with a heart of "gold" as a sports administrator and above all a wonderful father and a lovely husband. We all will miss you but Siva you have left much for us to remember you to eternity.