This morning I was invited for Nike’s kick-off for “Gunners Interschool KL Challenge”. This is in conjunction with the upcoming pre season tour of Arsenal to Malaysia. If you can remember, Nike also held an even to commemorate the presence of Arsenal in Kuala Lumpur last year. That was the 5-a-side competition in which Alex Song, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Wojciech Szczesny attended in a gala event in our of the shopping complexes here in KL.
For this year’s edition, the format has been changed and will be different. This year’s challenge will be an interschool tournament based on Nike SPARQ, a training and conditioning system that helps to build better athletes and is used by some of the best football clubs in the world. More than 20 schools are expected to participate in this challenge.
The school which achieves the highest average SPARQ scores and with participants that completes the most “Make It Count” missions will win the opportunity of a lifetime of having Arsenal visit their school and also RM5,000 worth of Nike products. The former is without question the biggest prize. During the visit, students from the winning school can look forward to hearing Walcott explains how he trains up his speed or where did Robin Van Persie (if he’s still around) really picked up some of those crazy skills he has. Or maybe even Per Mertesacker teaching them a few German words, but he’ll have to duck to enter the door as those are usually shorter than the ones he normally goes through.
An opportunity for a school to be up close with their heroes is a massive pull to succeed in this challenge. The privilege earned by the winning school will have their students listen to first-hand stories direct from the mouth of the Arsenal players themselves. Perhaps even obtain an exclusive inside look at their lives as professional athletes in one of the best leagues in the world.
Nike are organising such events because they are committed to the development of the young football community in Malaysia. By putting a link of exclusive access to these Arsenal players, Nike aims to empower and inspire young aspiring footballers in the country to take their game to the next levels. A sentiment echoed by Joan Yeoh, Country Marketing Manager of Nike Malaysia.
We at Nike Malaysia have always been committed to playing a part in developing football within the country whilst providing platforms for young aspiring footballers to better their game through various grassroots programs. Through the Nike Gunners Interschool KL Challenge, we want to provide these youths with an exclusive access to the players with the hope of inspiring them.
The scores will be tabulated over a course of 4 components of the Nike SPARQ. That is to test a player’s speed with the 20-Metre-Dash, of which I think should think Walcott or Vermaelen ranks high. To test the agility by way of Arrowhead test, by which players are tested on the quickness to change direction. To test the power by using Vertical Jump, where the time spent in the air from a standing jump is used to measure the power in the the players’ legs. Last but not least, an endurance test via the Yo-yo Intermittent Recovery Test (YIRT). YIRT involves runs with increasing speeds with a preset recovery period.
However, Nike won’t be limiting providing privileges to just school children. Adults can also benefit but from a different manner. For those fans who wants to go watch the match and wants the new kit for the new season, now Nike combines it for you. Fancs can obtain a complimentary RM68 match ticket and a training pass by purchasing the Arsenal home jersey at any of the following Nike outlets from July 1 – July 21 2012.
- Nike Store Midvalley Megamall
- Nike Store KLCC
- Nike Store Pavilion
- Nike Store One Utama (New Wing)
- Nike Store Alamanda
- Nike Store The Curve
- Nike Store Sunway Pyramid
- Al- Ikhsan Bukit Bintang Plaza
- Al-Ikhsan KL Festival