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 Sports

Back to the grassroots

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COURTESY CALL … Anil (third left), presents a souvenir to Mistirine as the rest, from left, Joko, Avtar, Hajah Nuinda, Basari and a Sabah Education Department officer, look on.

28th March, 2019

By FRANCIS XAVIER

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Hockey Association (SHA) has upped the ante in the development of the game in the state.

Its President Dato Sri Anil Jeet Singh said they are pretty much determined to lift the standard of the game to a new level.

He said Sabah’s historic feat at the Malaysia Games in Perak, last year has inspired them to further develop and promote the sport, particularly among schoolchildren.

For the record, at the country’s biggest sporting event, Sabah boys won their first ever gold medal while the girl’s team clinched a silver medal.

“We don’t want to be seen as a one-time wonder, so we are serious in our bid to develop the sport to greater heights.

“So now, it is important for us to continue to nurture our young talents. We have to start from the grassroots level as we believe that once we build a strong foundation at the grassroots level, it will be easier for us to sustain the standard of the game here.

“We know, this cannot be done in one day, so for that, we will be doing things one step at a time,” said Anil, when met after he led his delegation to pay a courtesy call on Sabah Education Department Director Mistirine Radin at the latter’s office on Monday.

He was accompanied by his Deputy Datin Hajah Nuinda Hj Alias and two vice presidents Basari Sarkun and Joko Purwanto Jimin as well as secretary Avtar Singh Bal.

“We will start a development programme and will teach young talent the right technique from a young age. Along the way, we will guide them.

“We will also be organising tournaments from Under-10, 12, 16 and so on. But we will take things one step at a time,” Anil added.

Meanwhile, Anil said the purpose of the visit to the Education Director was they were seeking support and assistance from the state Education Department in the development of hockey, particularly among schoolchildren or teachers.

“When we talk about development, it is going to involve schoolchildren or teachers, so it is important for us to cooperate with schools.

During the meeting, he said that they also sought cooperation and assistance from the department to look into the long-awaited SMK Abdul Rahim Kudat synthetic hockey pitch.

“I was made to understand SMK Abdul Rahim Kudat was supposed to have a synthetic hockey pitch. The project was approved during the previous government.

“We reliably learnt that everything has been approved (under the previous government). Representatives from the Education Ministry as well as from Malaysia Hockey Confederation also visited the site way back in 2015.

“Now, we hope, the department (Sabah Education) will help us to look into the matter because we believe that having a synthetic pitch in the northern part of the state will help us in the development of hockey,” said Anil.

He also proposed for Sabah to have a hockey school like the rest of their counterparts in the Peninsula.

“I think this is a logical proposal and will benefit the game of hockey in Sabah. I think it is not something that cannot be done because we already have the facility. I was made to understand that SMK Weston Beaufort has a synthetic pitch, so why not we start from there,” he said.

   
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