Sunday, April 30, 2006

Here is what I truly am upset about........Poor Pay Keeping Best Brains Away by Choi Tuck Wo
in today's Sunday Times.

How does this affect me? Well, in the Malaysian squash scene, most elite or high performance coaches are employed by the National Sports Council (NSC). Here lies the problem, they have a ceiling for local coaches and none for foreigners. If you are a local coach, your maximum salary in the country will be RM 2500 if you coach in the states. If you are attached to the national team, NSC will decide what would be the amount. This can range from RM 3000- RM 5000. So far I haven't heard of any local coaches going higher than RM 5000 in the NSC scheme. Also we do not have yearly increment nor bonuses based on performances. Even when it comes to renewing contracts, we are not given the opportunity to discuss options or increase in base salary. So where does it leave us? Same pay for as long as we work with them. I know some who are on RM 1500 for the last 4 years and they are excellent coaches.

Foreigners on the other hand starts with a minimum of USD 1000 with accommodation provided. Plus their annual balik kampung trip will be paid for as well. They will negotiate for a pay increase when it is time to renew their contracts and usually they will get it.

The irony is that these foreigners are no better than our locals, in fact some are worse. There has been a calling for all coaches to be qualified with the necessary qualifications but most of these foreign coaches in squash don't have any papers or qualifications. So what is the justification for their higher salary?

I cannot blame locals who shun going into coaching as they see no future in it. But some local coaches are to be blamed as well as they take no initiative to improve themselves. They refuse to upgrade their knowledge and learn the newest stuff to help improve the performance of their players. They give the good local coaches a bad name. But I still cannot help but get upset that these lazy or bad coaches are still around with no action being taken.

The good local coaches are still around because they really want to see the sport improve but a time will come and they will have to think of themselves and decide for their futures. Again Malaysia will lose the best brains. Tan Kim Her (badminton) and Lim Teong Kim (football) are prime examples.

How about me? Well, been fighting for better renumeration package for coaches for the last 4 years and every year i get the same answer..........wait, still in discussion. Time is running out on their side as I contemplate my country or my personal good.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Welcome to my blog on my thoughts and views of Malaysian squash scene and also some other sports as well. I hope that this blog will help all the average Joe's to have a better understanding of what goes on in my world of squash. Why did I start this? Well, the inspiration arised from my Japanese player who has to fill a diary on her sponsors site every few days and I thought what the heck, let's give it a try and see how it goes and so here I am.

A little info on my background, I am a full time squash coach in Malaysia since 1999. Played some squash for the country but decided to end my playing career early and to venture into coaching as I felt that I could contribute more to the development of the game in Malaysia. So here I am today as a full time coach in the country.

Currently I am attached in Penang. Yes, the same state as Nicol David and yes, the same centre where she trains when she is back home. I head the only fully running squash Academy in the country with a total number of about 230 plus kids from 5 years old to 18 years old. I also have a couple of foreign players attached in the Academy. (will cover this later in detail)

Anyway, I think that is good enough for the start. Again, welcome to my world of squash.