Back in October 2019, I participated in my first-ever Nottingham Malaysian Games(NMG). As a Malaysian student in the UK, the NMG is one of the most anticipated events not only for me but also for a huge number of Malaysian students as we get to compete in the biggest Malaysian Games in the UK and catch up with our friends in the UK.
I represented the university in the table tennis doubles event. My teammate and I trained for 2 weeks prior to the event at Connaught Halls, which is near the Wessex Lane Halls. There is a table tennis table which is available for students to play 24/7 (worth checking out especially if you stay in Wessex Lane).
The journey to Nottingham
As a participant, the Malaysian Student Association (MSA) organised a bus ride to the University of Nottingham. Due to space limitation and late registration for the bus ride, I did not manage to get a spot on the bus and had to travel there separately. I started my journey to Nottingham from Southampton the evening before the event using the National Express bus service. The trip took roughly 9 hours, with transits at Portsmouth and London. In London, there were other students from UCL as well who took the bus to the NMG. Ultimately, the trip was exhausting with the commotion from bus passengers and lack of sleep but hey, I made it to Nottingham anyways. When I arrived in Nottingham, I took a tram from the bus station to the university and had a good 30 minutes walk to the Sports Village.
The event begins!
Image from Nottingham Malaysian Games Facebook page: Football, netball and volleyball events.
As more participants from various universities arrived (in which I estimated that there were more than 2000 participants), the venue starts to be really packed especially at the registration counter. We had to wait for our turn in the lines for almost an hour. Soon after the registration, we were led to our venue based on the event that we participated in. In the end, we managed to achieve second place, behind the host team. I’ve met new and old friends and the event became sociable albeit the competitive atmosphere. The event ended earlier than expected (it started early and it’s not one of the longest games out there) and I could go around and support my fellow compatriots who are competing in other events.
Leisure in the Games
Image from Nottingham Malaysian Games Facebook page: The Malaysian food bazaar.
After my event, I strolled around and cheered for the other teams who were competing in other events such as football, basketball and badminton. I’ve also managed to catch up with many of my friends from other universities and had a good time with them. One thing not to be missed out on for every NMG is the food bazaar that serves a variety of Malaysian cuisine. The food served was affordable and tasted like home. The queue for every store was typically 30 minutes and I had nasi lemak and ‘ayam masak merah’ for my lunch.
Taking a trip to the city
Stroll in the Old Market Square.
In the evening with 2 hours before the award ceremony, I took a trip to the city centre of Nottingham, the Old Market Square. The journey to the city centre is quite far from the university hence I took a Uber ride along with 3 other friends. As NMG happens in winter, the Christmas Market was open and we were indulged with the Christmas vibes from the stand-up stores, rides and decorations. The old Market Square also offers many shops and outlets to visit. I had many free tasting sessions throughout my time in the city. I also stopped by the famous Doughnotts, which serves really good pastry especially doughnuts. Worth checking out the place when you are in Nottingham. Then, we took a Uber ride back to the university for the closing ceremony.
Image from Nottingham Malaysian Games Facebook page: Closing ceremony.
The NMG closing ceremony was delayed as there were some events that haven’t ended thus the event delayed as well. Nevertheless, I received my medal and it was time to go home.
I managed to board the university bus home along with the UoS team as there were some students who stayed over at Nottingham. Along the way back to Southampton, we stopped by for dinner and reached the University of Southampton at the stroke of midnight and everyone returned home on separate ways after.
I was really delighted, although exhausted on the next day that the event turned out well for me. I would recommend Malaysian students to attend the NMG at least once in their university life for the thrill and yeah, it feels great to be surrounded by a huge Malaysian community while in the UK. I hope to see you again NMG, till next time!