By Jugjet Singh
FORMER international Lim Chiow Chuan will officially take over the reigns of 1Mas from Sept 1, as the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) embark on a journey to develop quality youth.
1Mas, with a budget of RM2 million from the Prime Minister’s department, is a programme where 14 states will concentrate on 60 players each for four major assignments.
The long-term project will cater for different age groups to prepare players for the 2013 and 2017 Junior World Cups, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea.
“The development committee presented their paper to the council which endorsed Lim as the Director of Development. He will be overall in charge of 1Mas and even though his appointment only starts on Sept 1, he will start two weeks earlier,” said MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff.
Lim is currently undergoing an International Hockey Federation (FIH) course which is being held in conjunction with the Champions Trophy which will start today in Monchengladbach, Germany.
“The development programme started in the middle of last month with nine states already in the process of selecting their pool of players to train.
“The other states are still in the midst of hiring coaches and I believe by early August, the project will be in full swing.”
The idea is to train the players for two hours, three times a week at their own states, and then have a tournament to cater for this group.
Before this, Lim was coaching the Singapore national team and his charges qualified for the Asian Games when they finished second in the seven-team qualifiers in Dhaka.
However, the Singapore National Olympic Council decided not to send the hockey players to the Guangzhou Asian Games from Nov 12 to 27.
This prompted Lim to send in his resignation letter, and after he submitted it, the Singapore Olympic Council reversed their decision to send the hockey team to Guangzhou, but Lim stuck to his decision.
His last assignment with Singapore was the Asean Schools Championships where he said: “This long-term project will provide the country with a bigger pool of players to select from.”
The Prime Minister is also expected to launch the 1Mas Hoki programme in the middle of September.