TWO former national skippers will be involved in the intense eight-corner fight for four vice-president’s posts in the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) elections on Oct 31.
Both are Olympians who played alongside each other, and while Ow Soon Kooi chose to leave the police force early, Superintendent Mohindar Singh will retire in a year-and-a- half’s time.
Soon Kooi received four nominations, while Mohindar one, and they will be up against three incumbents and three new challengers.
Incumbents Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan received eight, nine and six nominations each.
And the other three challengers are Johari Abdul Aziz (three), Rahim Ahmad (one) and Manjit Majid Abdullah (four).
“I am where I am today because of hockey and my main agenda to stand for election is to give back to the sport which I love,” said businessman Soon Kooi.
Soon Kooi and Mohindar played together in the 1976 Montreal Olympics where Malaysia finished eight out of 11 teams. Malaysia beat Argentina 2-0 then, and M. Mahendran scored in the 68th minute while Soon Kooi scored in the 69th minute.
As for Mohindar: “My whole live has revolved around the sport, and I also started the Police Hockey Association and we fielded a team in the Malaysia Hockey League.
“There were certain restrains which saw me relinquish the president’s post and I am now the deputy president of the Association,” said Mohindar.
Both the skippers have been keeping a close watch on the national team, and feel if they win in the elections, their work is cut out for the next four years.
“From what I watched on television during the Com monwealth Games, there is still much work to do to improve the team’s world ranking. For one, the national side lacks depth on the bench and this indicates the talent pool is shrinking,” said Sook Kooi.
Mohindar feels the same: “I have volunteered my time, with he knowledge that there is much work to do in the next four years if I am elected. For starters, we need to have a bigger pool of talent to select from, if we want to achieve results in the next decade.”
The post of deputy president will see a four corner fight among incumbent Nur Azmi Ahmad (four nominations), MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (two), former deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar (two) and former hockey player Abdul Hadi (One).
The president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, was returned unopposed when nominations closed on Friday.