Monday, April 16, 2007

`Coaches programme ignored'


FORMER Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) coaching director Yang Siow Ming
feels that the federation has done enough over the years to upgrade the
standard and number of coaches in the country, but sadly, there was no
continuity in their programmes.
Yang, who was appointed as a sub-committee member of the Technical and
Development Committee recently, lamented on the difficulty in sustaining a
pool of top level local coaches today eventhough during his tenure, the
interest in his programmes was overwhelming.
Coaching committee chairman Ho Koh Chye called it a day after the Kuala
Lumpur World Cup, and the latest coaching course where only eight coaches
turned up, was conducted by secretary Dr Balbir Singh.
"But I believe the coaching programme has not been functioning well for
the last five years because those in charge found out fast that there is
no glamour in this kind of work.
"Over a period of four years between 1991 to 1994, as MHF coaching
director, I went around the country, including some rural areas, to
conduct coaching clinics and courses in an effort to encourage and promote
hockey at the grassroots.
"And yes, there are many young and enthusiastic teachers and coaches out
there in the rural areas who wait patiently for hockey administrators to
conduct courses.
"But in the end, it was a very heartbreaking four years of my life,
because the powers that be did not perceive this programme to be important
enough to receive greater attention," said Yang.
In 1991, upon Yang's secondment to the National Sports Council, he was
appointed as MHF director of development. And his first task was to draw
up a comprehensive plan for development, which included a programme for
Coach Education and Training.
"Coaching curriculum were drawn up for all three levels of the National
Coach Accreditation Scheme. Limited funds notwithstanding, we trained a
pool of about 15 Coach Instructors, mostly volunteers to help train some
1,960 coaches between the period 1991 to 1996."
The breakdown is - 1,732 coaches at Level One (basic), 205 coaches at
Level Two, and 23 coaches at Level Three.
"I am unable to provide data for the period after 1996 as my six-year
secondment period lapsed in March 1997," said Yang.
"In our efforts to expedite the training of potential national coaches,
we conducted our first Level Two course early in 1991. Terry Walsh, who
was national coach then, conducted this course and among those selected to
attend were Stephen van Huizen, Yahya Atan, Wallace Tan, Colin Sta Maria,
V. Sasidharan and Kevin Nunis.
"But sadly, only Stephen and Yahya have been motivated enough to
continue their work at the national level, while some of the rest either
started training club teams or just dropped off into oblivation."
Yang feels that there should be a more concerted effort from the MHF to
keep the coaches in their Federation by getting them actively involved in
training a bigger pool of coaches.
"If coaches feel that there is no chance of an upward mobility
forthcoming from the Federation, they will just drop off and it will be a
waste of good men.
"It is fine to use some coaches for the various national teams, but who
is going to train the next generation of coaches?
"MHF would do well to be more committed to coach development and not
merely pay lip service to this significant area of hockey development,"
said Yang.
Yang also agreed that MHF secretary S. Satgunam is unable to conduct his
duties in a more thorough manner because he has too much in his hands.
"I totally agree to the call to have a paid staff to take some of the
burden off Satgunam's shoulders. In fact, in a recent meeting of the
developmet sub-committee, I did stress that we should hire a development
officer who is a paid staff becaue only then can the programmes run
"There was a suggestion, during the meeting two months ago, to hold
indoor tournamants, but nothing has come out of it. Again, I make my point
clear on why we need to hire fulltime staff."
Technical and Development chairman Roy Rajasingham, when contacted for
comments yesterday, said he will be busy attending a series of meetings
and to try again tomorrow.