Saturday, November 1, 2008

New man places old ideas on old horses

NEWLY elected Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has set himself lofty targets, failing which he will vacate his seat without a fuss.
Among his targets is to see the 15th ranked national team team to break into the top-ten bracket by the 2012 London Olympics.
“Don’t judge me for who I am, make sure we all succeed to uplift the standard of administration and the sport. And if I can’t achieve what I set out for, don’t nominate me for another term,” was his frank advise to delegates.
Tengku Abdullah then whipped out a piece of paper, on which he had jotted down targets to achieve on the road to London.
“First of all, I will have two committees to advise and help achieve the targets set. One will be a Consultative Committee, and the other a Wawasan Committee.
“And I will appoint without prejudice or bias, those who are passionate, have ideas, and complaints about the current situation. The first member appointed is outgoing president Tan Sri Anwar (Mohd Nor) while the other members will be named at a later date.”
And in the Wawasan group will be former internationals, who had submitted a memorandum to the sports minister on how to elevate the standard of hockey.
“The Wawasan will be a study, a think tank and brain storming committee which will also include former in ternationals and the National Sports Council.”
Next on the list is to turn Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) top clubs into professional outfits.
“We will start with five clubs in the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and make them financially strong and have their own facilities. I would also expect them to take under their wings at least 150 juniors to strengthen their base, which in the long run will benefit the country.
“In football, we made the players professionals first, and then the clubs. It did not produce results, so we will do the reverse in hockey,” said Tengku Abdullah.
His plans for the MHL, and Razak Cup will need a concerted effort from states.
“I want to see active leagues in states, and there will be re- branding of the Razak Cup, and an Asean or Asian league to attract the sponsors.
“And as for grassroots, inter-school leagues will be revived and placed on our calendar, as I am looking for hockey to be played regularly at every level.”
There will also be two national teams so that competition will be keener among players, courses on sports man agement and sports science for former internationals at least twice a year to make them true professionals in managing all levels of the sport from the pitch to tournaments.
And his long term goals are to have an MHF complex, a nationwide turf campaign, including schools.
“MHF doesn’t even have a home, always tumpang (renting) so how can we become world class? We will work to have a complex to house our office, hockey pitches, an academy and other facilities.
“And I will work to have at least one turf, grass pitch or cement court in every parliament constituency, as the only way to re-brand the sport and make it into an industry.”
And his parting words were: “We have to believe in ourselves, and if I get the desired support from states, we will achieve most of the targets set.”

Azmi knocks out Tunku Majid

NUR Azmi Ahmad yanked the deputy president’s chair from Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar with a 12-vote triumph during the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) elections yesterday.
Azmi, a two-term vice president, garnered 26 votes to Tunku Majid’s 14. Initially, it was supposed to be a three-cornered fight, but Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema withdrew minutes before the elections to concentrate on his veep seat.
And the move paid off as Cheema retained his vice-president’s post for the fourth time when he received 19 votes. The other incumbents voted in again were Datuk Rahim Mohamed Ariff (29 votes), Datuk Sri Che Khalib Mohamed Noh (28 votes) and newcomer M. Gobinathan (25) from Negri Sembilan.
Incumbent treasurer S. Sanjilatheeban beat Abdul Rahman Shariff 29-11.
The election saw the entry of only two new faces — president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Gobinathan.
The total number eligible votes was 42, with only TunkuMajid absent from yesterday’s proceedings.
MHF Council 2008-2010: President: Tengku Abdullah Sul tan Ahmad Shah (unopposed).
Deputy President: Nur Azmi Ahmad.
Vice-Presidents: Datuk Sri Che Khalib Mohamed Noh, Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema, Datuk Rahim Mohamed Ariff , M. Gobinathan.
Automatic Vice-presidents: Sabah -- Datuk Ramilee Mara haban; Sarawak: Datuk Bustari Yusof.
Secretary: Hashim Yusoff (unopposed).
Treasurer: S. Sanjilatheeban.