Some 1,500 Malaysian students expected for the 2013 Midwest Games

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Photo of Malaysian soccer players.

Competitors from last year's games (Photo courtesy of the MWGi 2012 Facebook page)

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University will take on the air of an Olympic sports complex Memorial Day weekend as the host for the Malaysian Midwest Games International 2013.

The Malaysian Midwest Games, an annual sporting event sponsored by members of Malaysian student organizations at American universities located throughout the Midwest, will be hosted by WMU for the third time Friday through Sunday, May 24-26, on WMU's main campus. The University also hosted the 1997 and 2001 games, which attracted more than 800 participants. More than 60 Malaysian students are currently enrolled at WMU.

The 2013 games are expected to draw about 1,500 Malaysian students from across the United States and Canada to Kalamazoo for a weekend of spirited athletic competition. Participants will compete in team and individual sports, including men's and women's badminton, soccer, basketball, tennis and volleyball. New offerings for this year's games include racquetball, netball and Malaysia's very own "Sepak Takraw." Competitions will be held at the Student Recreation Center, the Goldsworth Valley field, intramural fields and Sorensen tennis courts.

Sportsmanship and camaraderie

Satveer Thind, president of WMU's Malaysian Student Association and director of the game's organizing committees, says the event fosters sportsmanship and camaraderie among the participating Malaysian student teams, in addition to promoting school pride and friendly institutional rivalries.

"The games date back to the 1970s and started out as a modest athletic congregation of Malaysian students studying at Midwestern schools, and have grown tremendously in popularity over the years," says Thind, a senior majoring in industrial and entrepreneurial engineering from the Malaysian state of Perak. "Now this is a much-anticipated event that draws students from states as far away as Texas and California, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom."

Malaysia's ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Datuk Othman Hashim, will travel from the Malaysian Embassy in Washington D.C. to Kalamazoo for the games.  He will officiate at the games and award medals in the closing ceremony planned for the evening of Sunday, May 26, in WMU's Miller Auditorium.

The Malaysian Midwest Games International 2013 is sponsored by WMU, the University's Malaysian Student Association, the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia, private Malaysian institutions and other businesses and companies.

Volunteers sought

WMU's Malaysian Student Association is seeking volunteers to assist with the games. Anyone wishing to volunteer may contact Michelle Tan at volunteer@mwgi2013.com. The group is also accepting support donations of cash, products or services. Those wishing to contribute should contact Theraan Thangarajah at (269) 267-9438 or sponsorship@mwgi2013.com.

For more information, visit mwgi2013.com.