THE Malaysian Sepaktakraw Association (PSM) were shocked when Indonesia
announced that women's sepaktakraw will see action at the Sea Games.
PSM had doubts about the capabilities of our women, the only teams
available were from Sarawak, Police and Perak. There were no grassroots
development of the sport and schools do not have women's teams.
Team manager Tunku Mohamed Sultan Abu Bakar remarked that: "It would not
be wise to send the women to Jakarta as they lacked the skills."
With the team and regu gold medals at stake, PSM had a change of heart
and went on a scouting spree netting five trainees.
They will take part in the regu event and are hard at training at the
Bank Pertanian Malaysia Training Centre in Bangi.
"We will not take part in the team event beause winning a medal is
virtually impossible, however, in the regu we have an outside chance,"
said national coach Haris Abdul Rahman.
The national women started serious training about a month ago while
Indonesia and Thailand have been training for almost a year, but that does
not worry Haris.
"The women, training under Ahmad Suin, have shown tremendous
improvement. I believe they are capable of winning a medal. The colour is
not important, what PSM aim to do is expose the players to an
international tournament and popularise the sport. Only then can we start
with the schools.
"Once there is interest in the sport among schoolgirls, it will be
easier for PSM to organise tournaments."
The women had their first major experience at the Indonesian
Independence Anniversary Championships recently where they returned
emptyhanded but gained valuble experience.
The Squad: Rashid, Saadiah Idrus, Masayu Dahalal, Noraini Mohamed, Siti