Monday, July 19, 2010

Blueprint ready seven years ago..

By Jugjet Singh


MALAYSIAN sports is filled with blueprints, but sadly, most of them are lying in somebody’s cupboard gathering dust.
One blueprint, which had turned gray after seven years in a folder, was yesterday brought out, dusted and read again.
This happened after Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the ‘One-student, One-sport’ vision will be implemented next year. He said 90 percent of the schools are ready to implement the policy, and the current infrastructure in schools such as fields, sports facilities and equipment will be improved.
All the above can be got given time but even the best cook cannot come up with a tasty dish if he does not have salt.
And in this case, the vital missing cog are coaches, and coaches cannot be trained overnight.
Going back to 2003, Malaysian Hockey Federation vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema was tasked with drawing up a working paper on how to develop a strong coaching base in schools.
Cheema came out with a sound plan, and the then MHF president Sultan Azlan Shah set up a meeting with former Director General of Education Tan Sri Abdul Rafie Mahat to present Cheema’s plan.
The gist of the plan was to identify and select the right candidate to attend coaching courses and then be sent to schools to develop hockey.
Cheema’s plan was also to turn hockey players, who are also sports science graduates, into graduate teachers by enrolling them into teachers’ training colleges and posting them back to their respective states.
MHF was also willing to conduct coaching courses at the teachers’ training colleges and universities after which refresher courses will be conducted for these coaches during tournaments.
The DG and his officials listened attentively, and after a few weeks, replied that is was not a feasible idea as the teachers training programme has its own module to develop coaches, and they can’t just take former players and turn them into coaches, even though they have sports science degrees.
The reply also blamed MHF for the lack of hockey coaches because the parent body does not recognise coaches who go through the teachers training modules.
That was the end of it, and the blueprint remained on print, and never took off. It was a pity because if the plan was implemented, seven years later, today, Malaysia would have had a big pool of former players who not only would have earned a living as teachers, but also help realise the ‘One-student, One-sport’ concept.
Cheema also had included in the blueprint a section where students who excelled in sports would be able to gain entry into universities even if their marks are lower than the studious types. He detailed out a sound formula to implement it.
That too, never took off. But now, it is being bandied around.
The blueprint went back into Cheema’s folder after I read it, and if any party is interested for an in-depth read, they know where to find it.

Project beat Athena HC 5-2

PROJECT 2013 continued their super run in Europe when they beat Division Two senior side Athena HC 5-2 in Amsterdam on Sunday.
The Project boys played their 11th match in the playing- cum-training Tour of Europe, and even though they took 13 hours from Poland to Amsterdam by train as there were plenty of technical problems along the way, they still man aged a good win.
However, the start was not as rosy as Athena HC stunned Project by scoring in the third minute through a field goal.
But in the 10th minute, Joel Samuel van Huizen equalised through a field goal, while Mohamed Rashid scored another field goal in the 33rd minute for the lead which held until half-time.
After the breather, Project increased the lead through Amir Farid in the 40th min and Syamim Yusof in 42nd off field attempts. Athena reduced the deficit in 47th but Syamim Yusof scored his second and Project’s fifth in the 67th to seal the match.
“The players’ handled the situation very well even after a long journey with little rest. Their effort in the match was excellent, indicating that they have learnt much in the Europe Tour,” said team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.