Thursday, January 20, 2005

MALAYSIA: Taekwondo: Clubs prove their effectiveness

By K.M. Boopathy
Jan 20:

THE effectiveness of clubs in producing elite athletes was clearly evident during the Malaysia Taekwondo Association's (MTA) Sea Games selection trials last Friday where 10 out of the 16 exponents were products of clubs. Taerobics Taekwondo Academy (Taerobics) had the most number of exponents when Lee Pei Fen (lightweight), Che Chew Chan (middleweight) and Hue Seow Ching (welterweight) made the cut for the initial Sea Games women's squad.

Viva Taekwondo Centre's Noornadia Norrizan and Noordiana Norrizan, who defended their Asean Taekwondo championships titles in Vietnam last month, also made the cut in the women's bantamweight and featherweight respectively.

In fact, six out of the eight trainees in the women's events are club-based while Ernie Abdul Halim of Kedah and Shu Seo Hie of Sarawak were the only two exponents from the State TAs to make the squad.

The men's squad had four exponents from the clubs. They are Sharil Ismail of Bangsar Taekwondo and Fitness Centre (finweight), R. Surendran of SPU Academy (bantamweight), Syed Taufiq Aidrus of Gemilang (featherweight) and Mohamed Fazmi of Universal (middleweight).

R. Thilakasan, who qualified in the heavyweight, was originally from Dynamic Academy but fought for Selangor in the trials.

National coach R. Dhanaraj reminded the exponents that the final squad will only be formed after their second trials, which will be held immediately after the national championships.

"This is our initial training squads and the exponents will be sent for various international training until the national championships. They can secure their places if they win medals," said Dhanaraj.

"The last qualification event will be the national championships. The trainees who lose in the national championships must compete in the trials to make the final squad for Manila.

"We will identify one exponent for every event which will be sibject to the Olympic Council of Malaysia's (OCM) approval."

Former Sea games flyweight champion Elaine Teo, who failed to win a medal in the Athens Olympics, represented Traditional Taekwondo Academy but was among three exponents exempted from the trials. The others are Rusfredy Tokan Pedrus of Sabah (men's flyweight) and Chew Chan.

Dhanaraj said their automatic inclusion was based on their victories in the National Inter-Club championships last month but stated that they will have to compete in the national trials in May.

The success of club-based exponents is a timely boost for the development of the sport.

Sports Commissioner Tan Sri Elyas Omar has already recommended for the clubs affiliated to MTA to be given voting rights based on performance.

The selected trainees will undergo medical tests at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Bukit Jalil today while their training details will only be finalised after MTA's meeting with National Sports Council on Jan 27.

Manila Sea Games training squad -

Men's finweight: Sharil Ismail (BTFC); Flyweight: Rusfredy Tokan Pedrus (Sab); Bantamweight: R. Surendran (SPU Academy); Featherweight: Syed Taufiq Aidrus (Gemilang); Lightweight: Ahmad Nizam Sabri (Forces); Welterweight: T. Paragas (KL); Middleweight: Mohamed Fazmi (Universal); Heavyweight: Thilakasen (Sel).

Women's Finweight: Ernie Abdul Halim (Ked); Flyweight: Elaine Teo (Tradisional Academy); Bantamweight: Noornadia Norrizan (Viva); Featherweight: Noordiana Norrizan (Viva); Lightweight: Lee Pei Fen (Taerobic); Welterweight: Hue Seow Ching (Taerobic); Middleweight: Che Chew Chan (Taerobic); Heavyweight: Shu Seo Hie (Sar).

Souirce from

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

MALAYSIA: Stay focused on the job not votes

By S. Selvam

GRANTING clubs the right to vote presents a whole new scenario to the State-based affiliation system but it is the obsession for voting rights that is causing much concern to Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (pic).
So much so Kok Chi is worried that the sports community may be disillusioned and distracted from what they (OCM) are supposed to do in the first place - develop the sport for the masses, and for excellence.

"I really don't know why everybody is so obsessed with voting rights?" questioned Kok Chi yesterday.

"Does it mean that all they are interested in is to vote or are they just interested in power?

"I strongly believe that all parties should just do what they are supposed to do.

"At the end of the day, it is results that matter. If you can produce a champion, people have to acknowledge what you are doing."

Voting rights, especially to clubs, has become a thorny issue after Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said ordered the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) constitution to be amended to allow clubs to be directly affiliated to the national body and, in an unprecedented move, give them voting rights as well.

Malaysia's sports structure is basically State-based with all State associations given automatic voting rights and in some national associations, uniformed services like the Armed Forces and Royal Malaysian Police, are given voting rights as well. But never clubs.

Which is why Kok Chi hailed Azalina's decision as a refreshing change.

"All this while it has been State-based but there are certain sports that may be able to prescribe to the club system," said Kok Chi.

"We have tried the State-based system, maybe it is time to give the club system a shot.

"Having said that, I believe the issue of voting rights is surfacing because all parties have their own agenda."

Sports Advisory Panel chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar have proposed. among others, that the number of votes should be based on results of the affiliates' exponents in domestic and international competitions, number of exponents produced for the national team, ability to manage the club, membership and development programmes.

But as far as Kok Chi is concerned, these are things that both States and clubs should do even without dangling votes as the carrot.

"After all, it is their sport and everybody is passionate about it. As such, they must be doing all these even without being told to do so," said Kok Chi.

And if they (States or clubs) are doing it (development) properly, and if the interest of the sport is the priority, it would be unwise not to recognise the affiliate's efforts.

Source from

MALAYSIA: Active clubs must have bigger say

By S. Selvam

Principle: To ensure that they get more voting rights
THE more active the club, the higher the number of votes.

This, as far as Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar (pic) is concerned, is the principle behind the amendments to the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) constitution to give clubs voting rights.

The amendment, however, is not a blanket approval to give all clubs voting rights.

"The general principle behind the whole process is to give active clubs a say in the running of the sport," said Tunku Imran after launching Astro's 'Home of Sports' in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Astro, who are an official sponsor of the OCM, announced several new sports channels with the aim of providing the best and most comprehensive sports coverage in the country.

"The more active the club or affiliate, the higher the number of votes. However, the criteria to ensure only active clubs are rewarded with voting rights must be established.

"It (amendment) does not mean all clubs must be given the right to vote."

Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said, on Tuesday, endorsed the recommendation from the Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) to amend MTA's constitution to give clubs direct affiliation to the national body and voting rights.

Previously, clubs were not given voting rights and the constitution was amended to bar clubs from seeking direct affiliation to MTA as well.

"The SAP have recommended some criteria and OCM are ever willing to advise MTA on how to come up with the voting mechanism," added Tunku Imran who is also a member of the SAP.

"It could be based on 'x' number of membership, number of activities, number of national exponents produced and performance in the national and international circuit.

"For instance, if there is a club with 100 members and with very little activity as compared to a club which has 1,000 members and a lot of activity, I believe, the latter should be given more voting rights.

"As such, the amendments are to ensure active clubs are rewarded by way of voting rights. Otherwise, you will have a situation where an inactive club, with few members and without any performance to speak of, will have the same clout as an active affiliate."

And what about the State associations?

"Well, we want them to play the role of supporting the clubs, not as a governing body," said Tunku Imran.

"Sometimes the clubs are active but not the State association. And in such cases, the clubs don't have a say."

But not after MTA's constitution is amended.

Source from

MALAYSIA: Performance of clubs determines right to vote

By S. Selvam

MEMBERSHIP must not be the sole, or most important criteria, when determining voting rights for clubs or State associations.

Sports Advisory Panel chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, in outlining the criterion, said membership could be manipulated, and as such, it would not be the best criteria to use in deciding voting rights.

Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said, in a decision that could shift the balance of power in national sports associations, on Tuesday ordered the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) to amend their constitution to allow clubs direct affiliation and voting rights, just like State affiliates.

And Ibrahim outlined the criterion.

"We have recommended several criteria as we don't want voting rights to be given to any club, clubs that may be formed for the sole purpose of acquiring voting rights," said Ibrahim yesterday.

"If this happens, then it defeats the whole purpose of giving voting rights to clubs.

"We want voting rights to be given to clubs that are properly registered and managed.

"Voting rights should also be based on performance like how the exponents of the clubs fare in national and international competitions.

"Another criteria will be whether these clubs produce athletes for the national team."

The bulk of national exponents are products of the club system, and in some cases, clubs are also the biggest contributors of grading levy when compared to State associations.

At the National Inter-Clubs Championships last month, only four State associations competed.

And on the international stage, clubs like Bangsar Taekwondo Fitness Centre, Koryo, Viva, TL, TTSC and Gemilang and State associations like Terengganu and Sabah have been responsible for producing medal winners.

However, exponents like Elaine Teo (Olympian and three-time Sea Games champion), Lee Wan Yuen (1998 Asian Games silver medal), Lim Yit Min (2003 Sea Games gold), Shahril Ismail (2002 World Junior Championships silver and 2004 World Junior Championships bronze), Ryan Chong (2003 Asian Junior Championships silver) and Noornadia Norrizan (2002 and 2004 Asean Taekwondo Championships gold) are all products of clubs.

"The clubs must also have good programmes in place and managed well," added Ibrahim.

"If there is no form of control, whether it is for State associations or clubs, then we may be back at square one."

And that is the last thing the MTA or the sport need.

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