Sunday, February 11, 2007

6 Feet Under
Malaysian sports are great at knee jerk reactions and quick fixing of the issues at hand. But more often than not, it just akin to temporarily plugging a leaking roof during the rainy season so that nothing in the house gets wet. And when in dries and the sun is out, all id forgotten about the leak not knowing that the leak will lead to bigger problems later. And the same story has been with the squash world in this part of the world. We have had sunshine for a long time and never even blinked when the sun's rays shined through the leak and reminded us to fix it. The house owners just brushed it aside and say they will do it later and continue to beautify the house. Now that the rainy season is here, the roof now is not only leaking but also looks like coming apart. But still, no effort to get a new roof up but still trying to beautify the house.

SRAM have had about 4 months since the last election. So what has happened? At the moment turmoil has set in. It seems that the sport can't seem to find replacement for the ED's position. We had one but he was deemed too young, so now it's still vacant. Still can't get local coaches to do high performance and worse still can't even run a simple competition. So at the moment, the current leadership has lost the confidence and respect from me. Abd that places them 6 feet under.... dead and buried.

Why do I say that, you may ask? Well, let's look at what has been achieved by Malaysian squash? Besides being great host and having a few world class players on the surface, when we peel and dig deeper, what do we have? Nothing to be proud of. Yes, a great high performance program but that's all. And that like I always say is not Malaysian made but by foreigners.

Squash is still a new sport in the country and yes we are lucky that the federal government is funding it. But what's going to happen when they decide to stop the funding? Will the sport survive? In my opinion, if that happens, squash will be on life support system as SRAM does not have a solution in place if that happens. Already signs are there as currently the NSC is under restructuring and funding is frozen for the time being. The full time squashers are not able to compete due to the lack of funds as such their rankings will not move as they should. Plus the pressure of hitting the top 80 mark by year's end will definately force some of them to leave squash for good.

SRAM as the governing body for squash in the country need to look at developing the game at all levels and not only at the high performance level. Squash need to be a viable business module is it was to sustain by itself in this country. It needs to be able to create and sustain income, create competition at all levels, create employment and market the sport in such a way that it is professional and enticing to sponsors to be attracted to want to be associated with the sport.

The current administration is 30 years behind the development of mainstream sports administration. The need for more people that are committed and passionate about improving the sport to the next level is definately a pressing need now. They need not have the sporting background like we used to think is important, but just need to be creative, dynamic and willing to learn about the needs of the sport.

Thanks to the current situation in SRAM, we at the Academy have managed to assess our situation and are now currently taking steps to improve the other areas to enable us to improve further and be better in the coming years ahead.The process is going to take some time but hopefully it won't take forever. So any voluteers to help us?

Cheers for now.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion and should not be construed as facts.