TENAGA Nasional Berhad are set to power the TNB- Malaysia Hockey League on Oct 17 again, after an RM1 million sponsorship agreement was signed yesterday.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) were repre sented by their vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema, while TNB their Chief Operating Officer Datuk Sri Che Khalib Mohamd Noh (pic), who is also an MHF vice-president.
Also present at the function were National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkeples Embong and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.
“We are very grateful with Tenaga Nasional’s continued support of hockey, and this is the third year that they will be with us. The money will not only help run a smoother MHL, but also fund some of our other development programmes,” said Dr Cheema.
Datuk Zolkeples was also happy with this corporate spon sorship: “In 1998 when we hosted the Commonwealth Games, there were 27 sponsors behind 28 sports. But today, sadly, only a handful have remained loyal to their Rakan Sukan (partner in sport), and TNB are one of those who have not forgotten their responsibilities.”
The MHL will have six teams in Division One, and nine teams in Division Two. Ernst and Young are the defending League champions, while Tenaga Nasional hold the TNB Cup.
Tenaga have six national players for the MHL, and two of them were voted as outstanding players in the Hamburg Masters.
S. Kumar was awarded the Best Goalkeeper, while Amin Rahim as the Best Player in the International Invitational where Malaysia ended second behind World No 1 Germany.
Meanwhile, Dr Cheema in his speech stressed the im portance of starting indoor hockey aggressively in Malaysia.
“There are numerous benefits which can be derived from the indoor game, which will help strengthen the base for outdoor hockey national selection.
“I hope TNB will start the ball rolling, as they have the funds to have an indoor court built,” said Dr Cheema.
Che Khalib was also keen on the idea: “We are keen on it, and it is an idea worth exploring.”
The three MHF vice-presidents present yesterday, Cheema, Che Khalib and Datuk Abdul Rahim Ariff were however, non-committal on their biennial elections.
“We still have until Oct 25 (when nominations close), so lets wait some more before making any comments on the elec tions,” said the three veeps.