Tuesday, July 4, 2017
THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) lost a sterling administrator when Datuk Ow Soon Kooi called it a day citing health reasons.
The former skipper, and current vice-president as well as coaching committee chairman injured his neck in a car accident years ago and he never really recovered.
In a text message to his coaching committee group Ow said: "Dear coaching committee members.. with a heavy heart I would like to inform everyone that I have stepped down from all posts in the MHC due to health issues.
"I would like to thank everyone for their valuable input and contributions. It has been fun working with all of you."
Ow did not answer calls, or text messages.
However, during the Women's World League Round Two final match between Malaysia and Ireland at the Tun Razak Stadium, Ow did say that his neck pain is getting unbearable and he will quit after the Men's and Women's World League Semifinals are over.
And true to his word, barely a week after the men finished fourth in London and the women 10th in Brussels, Ow quit.
As a coaching chairman, Ow brought back some life in the men's and women's teams by bringing back Stephen van Huizen and appointing K. Dharmaraj as the women's coach.
By S.S. Dhaliwal
In what can only be considered as shocking, Dato Ow Soon Kooi has tendered his resignation from all positions in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation,
A WhatsApp message from Dato Ow notifying his Coaching Committee members confirmed the sad news.
Dato Ow was elected as a Vice President of MHC at the AGM in 2015 and was also the Chairman of the Coaching Conmittee as well as a member of the National Team Management Committee.
The former national player and skipper has been largely credited with the revamp of the coaching set up as he pushed for Stephen van Huizen to be brought back as National Coach and played a key role in paving the way for the progress of the Women’s Team by appointing K. Dharmaraj as the coach.
Besides that Ow ensured professionalism in coaching and also looked into the welfare of the coaches.
A stickler for discipline and a workaholic, Dato Ow spent countless hours on the sidelines of the hockey pitch watching players undergo drills and playing matches,
He used to burn the midnight oil watching videos of the team in action, as he gave valuable insight to coaches, but never once interfered or influenced their tactics or training methodology.
His shock resignation, coming only a week after the national team qualified for the 2018 World Cup by finishing 4th in the World League Semi Finals, will surely be discussed largely in the hockey fraternity.
Although Ow has stated that his decision to resign was due to health reasons, observers believe that there is more to what broke the camels back and a man who had an illustrious career in the sport would never throw in the towel like that.
It is indeed a big loss for hockey to lose a personality such as Dato Ow who had much passion and dedication for the sport.
It is further learnt that a member of the MHC Coaching Committee had also tender his resignation as he was appointed into the Committee by Dato Ow.
Several others are expected to follow suit and quit the committee.