THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) will ensure the quality of age-group tournaments are not compromised before handing over the baton to the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) next year.
A working paper was presented to the MSSM recently where the MHF requested the MSSM to organise all age-group tournaments from under-12 to under-18.
“We have met with MSSM officials in the presence of National Sports Council (NSC) representatives to discuss a working paper which will eventually see age-group tournaments be organised by MSSM from next year,” said MHF coaching committee chairman C. Paramalingam.
“The MSSM and NSC officials will now brief their bosses before we venture further into this plan.”
Many quarters are skeptical of the proposed move because the MSSM ran their age-group tournaments on a carnival format this year which was a rush job with many glitches and did not benefit hockey at all.
“We proposed that an under-10 tournament be held by MSSM at districts and also said we are not in favour of a carnival format. This is to ensure that quality is maintained as schools provide future national players,” added Paramalingam.
“The MHF has also agreed to provide coaches for grassroots development where there are no teachers with qualifications, as in this way systematic development can start from next year in schools.”
National Juniors coach V. Muraleedharan had said that his present batch of players, who will represent the country in the Junior World Cup next year which will be co-hosted by Malaysia and Singapore, are still shaky with the basics because the schools system did not ingrain it in them.
“The coaching committee had a discussion about that and that is why we are keen to help the schools by providing technical officials and qualified development coaches so that we can arrest this problem as soon as possible,” said Paramalingam.
The MSSN, NSC and MHF will meet again to discuss how best this plan can be turned into a reality without compromising on quality.