Friday, October 24, 2014

Just deal with it!


Saturday, October 11, 2014




Icons from the past – Lt Com (Rtd Navy) Karunakarer Selvaratnam

(H) Karu a double international by chance introduction

By TONY MARIADASS

In an era where sportsmen and women have all facilities and opportunities to excel and still there is a dearth of quality athletes, Lt Com (Rtd) Karunakarer Selvaratnam’s achievements is an inspiring story.
The 73-year-old former navy officer is a double international in cricket and athletics and that fact that he was exposed to both sports by chance and yet excelled is indeed remarkable.
Karu as he is known in the sports circle hails from Batu Gajah, Perak, picked up cricket in Sri Lanka when he was ten-years-old and athletics as a 15-year-old.

By chance

“My whole family (three boys and a girl) went to Sri Lanka in November 1951 during the school holidays to visit my ailing grandfather,” recalled Karu.
“As it turned out my grandfather got better by the day and what was a holiday trip extended to three years. While my father returned to Malaya (then) because of his work a supervisor at Perak River Hydro Station, we stayed on and I continued my studies at St Anthony’s College in Candy.
“It was here that I was introduced to cricket, a sports widely played in the country.
“I got hooked on it and was good at it too.”

Returned home

Karu said that his father thought it was about time family returned home three years later and returned to continue his schooling in Anglo Chinese School, Ipoh.
While he continued to play cricket and played for the State team as a schoolboy, he also played badminton and football.
“But I gave up the other sports to concentrate on cricket,” said Karu who was named the Sportsboy of the year in 1958.

First brush with athletics

It was in 1956 that Karu had his first state of running with no formal training.
“I was helping out at the school sports meet mixing drinks, serving and carrying athletics equipment under my teacher Rasa Durai.
“Towards the end of the meet when the 4 X400m relay was the highlight of the meet, Rasa Durai came looking for me, gave me a T-shirt, found me a pair of shorts and asked me to run for my Tagore House, as the regular runner M. Shanmuganathan had injured himself in an earlier race.
“I really did not know what to in the relay race and Rasa Durai told me to run as the second runner and since the field was only 200m, was told to run two rounds and pass the baton to the next runner.
“I just did that and ran the race of my life without looking back and passed the baton on to the next runner. We won the race and I got my first athletics medal.”
Karu said after the race Rasa Durai told him to report to the schools’ sports secretary, Lee Hoo Kiat, who had watched him run and was impressed.
“The next think I knew I was in the schools athletics team and was also doing long jump.”

First taste of hurdling

Karu then went to take up hurdling also by chance.
There was an American coach, Tom Rosandich, under a programme doing talent scouting and was looking for hurdlers.
“This coach came to my school and asked for athletes interested in hurdling to join his coaching clinic. But there was only one or two boys and he looked at me and asked me if I was the one doing long jump. When I said yes, he asked me to join his hurdling clinic,” recalled Karu.
“The next think I knew I was hurdling and was asked to run the 400 hurdles because the hurdles were lower and it suited me better.
“The rest is history as I went on to improve and was representing the State before Malaya,” said Karu who had a personal best of 48.4 for the 400m and 52.7 for the 400m hurdles.
Karu’s most memorable moment was winning the silver medal in the 4 X 400m at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta with Rahim Ahmad, Asir Victor and M. Jegathesan and the gold in the 1965 Sea Games with Asir, Jegathesan and A.S. Nathan.
 Career decision
Karu who had joined the Navy in 1960, had a short athletics career because in 1965 he was offered to attend an officer’s course in England at the Britannia Royal Navy College in Dartmouth.
He made a career decision and quit athletics.
But in that short period, Karu had represented the nation in two SEAP Games winning the 400m hurdles in 1961 and 4X 400 relay at the 1965 Games. He also competed in the 1962 Asian Games and in the 1964 Olympics Games in Tokyo.
In cricket, he represented the nation from 1960 to 1965 and 1978 to 1982 and having captained the team in 1980.
Karu had also represented the Armed Forces in hockey, badminton and football.
Karu after his playing days was involved in coaching at the Navy and Armed Forces.
He made a comeback to athletics for the 1973 Sea Games where he won the silver medal in 400m.
It all happened when he was preparing the Armed Forces team for the national championship and was pacing his athletes for the first 200m in training, but when to finish the 400m ahead as the athletes never caught up with him.
It was then than that his athletes urged him to run in the national championship and won the race too and earned his ticket to the Sea Games at the age of 32. That was his last race. He opted for optional retirement from the Navy in 1987.

Administrative and Managerial positions

Karu has held many administrative post starting as the Sports Officer of the Royal Malaysian Navy from1969-70, Head of Naval Sports Complex (1981-1987), general manager of Royal Selangor Club (1987-1989), secretary of Malaysian Cricket Association (1989-2003) and manager of national cricket team on numerous occasions.

Current

Karu now spend most of his time with his family especially with his seven grandchildren and plays social golf to keep in touch with his friends.
Golf was another sport, Karu picked up as early as 1976 and was a single handicapper at his peak. He now plays an 18 handicap.
Karu also keeps abreast with local sports and like most of the athletes of the past, cannot understand why Malaysian sports have not improved after all these years when sports was already sailing high in the yesteryears.
“With all the facilities, funding, exposure and expertise, it baffles me why Malaysian sports it at such a low ebb.
“But among the reasons I will list for the current state is the poor administration of associations, the right people not in the right place, no proper structure for sports to grow, lowering our standards and the athletes themselves not having the passion to excel.”
However, Karu believes that there is hope for Malaysian sports, if it is done the right way professionally.





Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nordin has big dreams

Published on Saturday 4th October
ICONS FROM THE PAST - NORDIN MOHAMED JADI
by tony mariadass
FORMER national track athlete Nordin Mohamed Jadi has chosen a path many elite athletes have ignored.

The 200m and 400m track star of the 1980s dedicated his life to athletics even after hanging up his spikes internationally in 1991 and nationally in 1994.

The 52-year-old father of four (three girls and a boy) is employed by Maybank, but is actively involved in the development of athletes in Johor.

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Nordin with some of the athletes training under him.
His passion is so great that after coaching in Muar, Batu Pahat and Kluang, he formed the Nordin Jadi Athletics Club in 2005.

“I wanted to do more for Johor and to give back to the sport which brought me fame,” said Nordin who competed in two Olympics — Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988 and three Asian Games — 1982 (New Delhi), 1986 (Seoul) and 1990 (Beijing).

“The club concept was dying. Many of our top athletes in the past came through clubs such as Jets, Lights, Panthers, Pelanduk, Prisons and Government Services Sport Club,” said Nordin who competed in six SEA Games from 1981 to 1991.

“I was also roped in by Johor Sports Council (JSC) to do an athletics programme from 2002. This allowed me to expand my programmes to more districts and schools,” said the bespectacled athlete who won gold in 400m at the 1985 and 1987 SEA Games in Bangkok and Jakarta respectively and 4x400m at the 1987 and 1989 Kuala Lumpur Games.

Nordin also won silver medals at the 1987 Asian Track and Field Championships in Singapore in the 400m and 4x400m and has a personal best of 21.4s for the 200m set in 1983 and 46.56s for the 400m set in 1987.

He was also involved in football as the fitness coach with the Johor team coached by Karl Weigang in 2003 and 2004 and the Johor futsal team in 2007 and was Malaysia’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the Seoul Olympics.

Nordin started an academy at the Larkin Stadium a year ago, but it was short-lived as the stadium was taken over by the Johor Darul Takzim football team.

He now moves around the districts and has weekend programmes in Kluang.

“I have about 20 athletes under me, while many others train under various programmes in their districts,” he said.

Nordin is also in charge of the Johor athletics programme for the Malaysia Games (Sukma).

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1987 Sea Games 4x400m gold medalists (Standing from left): Andrew Scully, Nordin Jadi, Johari (official), Ratna Dewi, Rashid Haron (coach), Joseph Phan and Ismail Hashim. Squatting (from left): Sajaratultudur, Josephine Mary and Oon Yee Chan
“JSC has been very supportive and gives RM500,000 for a two-year programme for each Sukma. I have a panel of coaches and we have been able to reach more athletes.”

Nordin who has always kept a low-profile, said he preferred working at the grassroots although it was hard work and not glamorous.

“It is satisfying to see your athletes grow and make their mark. It may be a long process and sometimes your work is not recognised, but I am not affected by it.

“I just want to give back to the sport all that I have learnt as a national athlete,” said Nordin who attained a Level 3 specifics coaching certificate and has been coach of the Johor Sukma team from 2001.

His other coaching experience include being the national coach for the Asian Youth Championships in 2004 in Ipoh.

“Athletes these days do not have goals and ambitions. They are not prepared to work hard or make sacrifices,” moaned Nordin.

“But I ensure athletes who come under my programme adhere to my philosophy of ‘commitment, attitude, performance’. ” Nordin’s ambition is to see his club produce a steady supply of athletes for state and country.

“Those years we had to fight hard to get a place for any event. It is sad now even at the SEA Games level, we cannot field athletes in all events.

“Something drastic needs, but it cannot be achieved overnight.

“It has to be a long-term programme. We cannot continue to have short-term programmes. And if we do not work hard at the grassroots — especially at the schools — we are going to continue to face disappointment,” said Nordin.

With many state associations and even the national body not doing enough, it is time former athletes emulate Nordin’s example.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It’s now or never

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2014 - the malay mail
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Kamaruddi Haziq (right) in action against China in the men’s recurve fi nal. Archery has benefited from long-term development plans. — Picture by AFP
THE writing has been on the wall for some time but officials chose to ignore it or were hoping for a quick turnaround.

But after back-to-back “failures” — to use sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s own word — governors of Malaysian sports must address the situation immediately to stop the rot.

For far too long there have been promises of stringent measures after each debacle but more often than not, they were half-heartedly implemented.

tony
Of course, many will try to justify Malaysia’s performance. The excuses will be the same — silvers could have been gold, competition in certain sports was tough, we were drawn in difficult groups and luck was not on our side.

The fact remains no one remembers a silver medal. We should not depend on the luck of the draw. It is the physical and mental strength of the athletes that matter.

Depending on ageing athletes is certainly not the best formula. Khairy, it is learnt, is going to shake up the National Sports Council (NSC), but he must not stop there. He must ask the National Sports Associations (NSA) leaders who have failed to step down.

There must be a change from top to bottom. Sepaktakraw, especially, has time and again failed. The association cannot give any more excuses.

Khairy must also not make the mistake of coming up with shortterm programmes. The last longterm programme was Jaya 98, a six-year plan that bore fruit in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Setting up a special unit to oversee programmes for the 2016 Olympics and 2018 Asian and Commonwealth Games may see us fall into the same trap. What we need is at least a six- or eight-year programme.

This means we start focusing on young athletes under a systematic training programme. As far as possible, overseas stints should be used for competitions.

Base the athletes locally with the best brains in coaching, be it local or foreign, handling the programmes.

Next year’s SEA Games in Singapore and the 2017 Games hosted by Malaysia should be used to expose as many young athletes as possible.

For proof that long-term development programmes work, just look at sailing and archery.

Above all, NSAs should be fully committed to and involved in these programmes.

NSC should be the financial backer and monitor agency of programmes submitted to it for aid. It is the respective sports associations who are the experts and should be allowed to conduct their programmes.

If the NSC is an expert in all sports, then it should shut down all NSA and be the sole body for Malaysian sports.

It will be frustrating for associations at the start of longterm programmes but they must soldier on. Working with young athletes seldom brings immediate success, but the end result can be very rewarding.

There can be no room for sentiments. One has to be cruel to be kind and many will have to make way for a good thing.

The efforts of many officials should be recognised, but they have to vacate their seats if they love Malaysian sports.

At the same time, athletes have to buck up and set their own targets. They can no longer be floating in the system and continue to enjoy the benefits if they do not improve.

We need warriors among our athletes, not hangers-on.

It is time for the real officials and athletes to stand up and be counted. Those who cannot take the demands of high-performance sports have to ship out.

We have to make every ringgit spent worth it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A tribute to teachers like Rennie


SAturday, SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 - Malay mail

BY tony mariadass
rennie
AT a time when the teaching profession is being besmirched by the UPSR examination leaks, it is good to remember when teachers were held in high esteem especially in the sporting field.

Of late, teachers have been accused of not having the same commitment as their older colleagues when it comes to sports development.

There are various reasons from lack of rewards, changing lifestyle, teachers who prefer to earn extra money through tuition and the diminishing number of school fields.

Tribute to teachers

This column attempts to give credit to those who were the pillars of Malaysian sports — many of whom were teachers.

It is impossible to credit every one because many shy away from publicity, are working in the remote areas or others steal their glory.

Dying breed

Rennie Martin, who celebrated his 80th birthday last Thursday, was among the teachers who did so much for Malaysian sports.

Among those who attended his birthday celebration were Datuk R. Yogeswaran, Brother Felix James Donohue, Karu Selvaratnam, Freddy Vias, N.A. Baskaran, Leslie Armstrong, Dennis Doss and Radha Krishnan.

Key role in development

Rennie’s dedication to athletics was second to none and the sacrifices he made are unthinkable these days.

He would drive athletes around for training and competition, give them pocket money, buy them spikes and be in school the whole day, weekends and school holidays!

The education and sports ministries should recognise and reward teachers like Rennie so they can be icons for teachers.

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Rennie with his family from left daughter-in-law Cynthia Laetitia, wife Josebelll, daughter Sumitha, son Suresh and grandchildren Christian Aida and Alexandra.
Contribution

Rennie began his teaching career in Taiping in 1953.

He went on to teach in St Anthony's school in Pudu (1954), Batu Arang (1955-1960) Rawang (1961-1962), La Salle PJ (1963-68), back to Rawang (1969), Catholic High, PJ (1972-1982), Sultan Ahmad Samad, PJ (1983) and Section 17 School (1987) before he retired in 1988.

Rennie was actually more interested in football and was a referee in the 1960s.

But he was assaulted when he was refereeing a Selangor league match between VOC and Hong Chin at the SIA ground (beside the Istana Negara then).

Only the security provided by the Hong Chin players who put him in a taxi and sent him home saved him from further injuries and Rennie decided to quit the sport.

It was then that his friend, Leslie Armstrong asked him to get involved in athletics.

Rennie was a natural and even turned a basketball player, Ho Yoon Wah into a national jumper who cleared 2.10m to win the gold medal at the 1981 Manila Sea Games.

Rennie rose from a schools coach to a national coach who has gone to the SEA Games and Asian Track and Field.

He helped set up the Rawang AAA, Petaling District AAA, drawn numerous development programmes and the number of athletes who have gone through him over the years probably runs into the thousands.

The only thing that kept him going all those years was his passion for the sport.

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Rennie training athletes.
Passionate

Rennie was so passionate about the development of athletics that he has presented many papers to the Malaysian Athletics Federation, Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) and National Sports Council. He has also written in newspapers how the standard of athletics in the country can be improved and how the MSSM system has to change to expose budding athletes to various events instead of specialising at an early age.

If only they had listened, Malaysian athletics would not be in the doldrums today.

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Rennie's articles in newspapers on development.
Rennie had this to say: “As long as we neglect development, sports in schools is dead.

The playing fields keep disappearing, teachers are more interested in giving tuition than being on the field and the education system does not favour sports, we can continue to spend millions of ringgit and not get any returns.”

Many names of teachers mentioned here might not ring a bell but they need to be acknowledged for being responsible for past glories.

Among those who made their marks in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s include Gerald Rozells, the late Bernard Khoo, the late Philip Adolphus, Kirubakaran Rokk, David Fernandez, Datuk Ahmad Shafie (football), Lionel Rajamoney, Michael Perry, C. Ramanathan, T. Krishnan, A. Tripadi, S. Sivapragasam, Tan Choo Mong, T. Thiruselvam, Marina Chin, N. Nadarajah (athletics), Brian Foennader, Louis Rodriques, late Vincent Fernandez, S. Sivapathsundram, Malek Khiew, Teng Cheng Leong, Pritam Singh Sandhu, Gurdial Singh (hockey), B. Rajakulasingham, Indran, B. Sathiasivam, R. Ratnasingam, Jimi Chai (cricket), Aladad Khan (multiple sports), late Mui Fatt Chai, Goh Yea Yen (badminton), Wong Tong Poh (swimming), the late Ung Ket Chow (rugby) and the list goes on.

Many of these teachers are still actively involved in coaching despite being retired. In recent times, we have had K. Sukumaran, P. Gansesmoorthy, C. Nadarajan, Ustaz Md Yazid Yahaya, Sidan Harun, Mat Jusoh Saat, Khairul Annuar Khairuddin (football), S. Arunandy, Khoo Boon Keat, A. Vellurajan, K. Segeran Nair, Tan Eng Hui, R. Magendran, Pritam Kaur, (athletics), S. Sasitheran, R. Vivekananda, N. Ghananathan, K. Sunderasan, Tejar Singh, Yap Gark Soo, Mokhtar Baharuddin, Durai Raj (hockey), K. Kamarajan (cricket), Mazlan Ahmad (swimming), the late Guana Seagarn Sammuel, Yasmin Othman, Nahar Desa, Madeline Parril, Khairul Mohtar, Anita Abdullah, Doris Selvi Thomas, Mathialagan, Abdul Rahman Besar (bowling) to name a few.

There is still hope for schools to become the permanent foundation of Malaysian sports but it needs to be made worthwhile for teachers to be seriously involved.

This is a tribute to teachers like Rennie Martin, the many mentioned in this article and the many more who have been missed out.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Too good to let go!

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 - the malay mail
tony
WHAT is it with sports officials who want to cling to their posts and fight tooth and nail to stay on as long as they can?

Certainly, it cannot be that they want to help the sport because they don’t seem to have done much good during their tenure.

And how the affiliates are blind to all that is happening and keep voting in the same officials is baffling.

And what happened at the Kuala Lumpur Football Association’s (KLFA) annual general meeting last Friday takes the cake.

When names were to be submitted for election, there were a lot of jostling at the table as to who was to be nominated and who was to be elected for certain positons and in the end, those named were elected without contest. What a farce!

Making all this happen was a “king maker”, acting on behalf of a new group wanting to make its way into the KLFA.

What happened next was even more astounding — incumbent president Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz settled for the deputy president’s post, Datuk Seri Adnan Mohd Ikhsan, the Federal Territories secretary-general, was made the new president of KLFA, and incumbent deputy president Datuk George Frederick demoted himself to executive council member.

Then, we have executive council members who have been in the committee since the 1980s still keeping their seats, although they have done practically nothing to help KLFA except to use it for their own benefit.

It is learnt that Astaman agreed to become the No: 2 man in the association so Adnan can call the shots in an effort to resurrect KLFA.

Astaman is said to have accepted the demotion because he is trying to recover some RM2 million he is said to have lent KLFA. Apparently, he has been paid a partial amount and one way to get back the rest is to remain in the system.

Question: Since when did the president lend money to the association?

Isn’t he supposed to help source for funds from sponsors or fund the association if he has the means?

So, while the players were punished when KLFA was rocked by a match-fi xing scandal recently, how come the officials who managed the association during the period have not been brought to book?

KL, who started off as minnows when they made their debut in the national league in 1979, emerged as kingpins in the late 1980s, but had to suffer the dubious honour of being relegated to the third-tier FAM League after finishing second from the bottom of the table in the Premier League. They have bounced back after a season to return to the Premier League next season.

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Astaman apparently agreed to play second fi ddle in the association.
Meanwhile, KLFA do not have a stadium as the Kuala Lumpur Stadium is closed for renovations. The association has even had to move their office to a shophouse.

Hopefully, the new president, with the assistance of the FT Ministry, will be able to improve KLFA’s current position.

But with the same people who had orchestrated the election named the main committee, one wonders if things are going to change at all.

Ramlan Askolani, a former city player, has been named the secretary-general and it is learnt that he was the man behind the revamp. Hopefully, Ramlan can help put things right at KLFA.

For starters, the new management have already given the walking papers to a very powerful lady in the association, who was from the previous camp. Others who saw the axe coming down on them have switched camps.

In a nutshell, everything points to KLFA being used for personal agendas and not for the game.

When we have officials who speak without thinking or knowing the real facts, how can we expect the association to head in the right direction?

Astaman was reported, after the AGM, as saying the KLFA want two teams when the M-League is privatised.

Question: When KLFA can’t even manage one team, how can it handle two?

He went on to say: “Football is a business. By establishing two teams, we are bound to witness a healthy rivalry which will increase the quality of football. They will be governed by one parent body which is the KLFA , but they will be separate entities with separate sponsors and shareholders.

“Manchester has two clubs — United and City — while Merseyside has Liverpool and Everton.

The rivalry is intense and fans are treated to great games.” He is right about football being a business, but business for whom?

The rules are clear that each team will have to be a private entity totally and cannot be managed by one association. Just look at JDT1 and JDT2, which are managed by different bodies.

Professional football in the country has been in existence since we went semi-pro in 1989 and full professional in 1994 and if KLFA are still not a professional entity, how do they expect to become a professional outfit overnight?

And drawing comparisons with the Manchester and Merseyside clubs is truly laughable.

It is indeed sad to see KLFA languishing after all the hard work done by former presidents like Tan Sri Elyas Omar. Until and when it is run like a true professional football outfit, the city side is going to take a long time to see light at the end of the tunnel.

And this is a clear example of the state of football in this country as several other football associations are in the same boat.

TONY MARIADASS is a sports journalist with more than three decades of experience and is passionate about local sports. He can be reached at tmariadass@ gmail.com. Twitter handle:@tmariadass

Monday, September 22, 2014

Doctor for all seasons

Saturday, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 - the Malay Mail

BY tony mariadass
icons
DATUK DR P.S. NATHAN is among the rare breed of sports personalities who has excelled as a dermatologist, sportsman and administrator — locally and internationally. Dr Nathan, who turns 81 on November 3, is still active as the founding president of the Malaysian Tenpin Bowing Congress (MTBC) and as a consultant dermatologist.
Excelled in sports and professional life
Son of a clerk, Dr Nathan was born in Seremban and is a product of St Paul's Institution and Victoria Institution.
He is much sought after as a dermatologist and his son, Ruban, now works with him.
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Former prime minister Tun Hussein Onn presenting a medal to Dr Nathan after Malaysia won the trios World FIQ gold medal in Manila in 1979.
Took up bowling at a late age
His favourite statement “playing for fun is not my style” explains why he excelled even though he started bowling when he was 35.
“Age is only a chronological number. What is important is the biological age,” said Dr Nathan.
“I was very fit having played games all my life — even when I became a doctor. I also played badminton regularly.
“My wife (S. Malathy) got me hooked on bowling. She had been bowling with our neighbour in a morning tea league and suggested I try it.
“I did it to please her and found it challenging. But I also had a knack for it.”
Took up bowling at a late age
“In my first game I got 127 which I was told was not bad considering I used a house ball. The rest was history.” Malathy was also an international bowler.
For them and their friends, bowling didn’t end at the lanes but continued at home.
The husband and wife team entered the Guinness Book of Records for their feat of having featured in three successive AMF Bowling World Cups — from 1975 to 1977.
They also represented the country at the first World Games at Santa Clara, United States in 1981.
Three years earlier, Dr Nathan captained the five-man Malaysian team who won gold at the Bangkok Asian Games where he scored the highest average.
That was the first time bowling was played at the Games.
The other members of the team were Holloway Cheah, Allan Hooi, J.B. Koo and Edward Lim. When the sport made its debut at the 1975 SEAP Games, he was the first Malaysian to win a gold medal.
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Dr Nathan receiving his SEA Games singles gold medal at the Bangkok Games.
Not an overnight achievement
In Malaysia, bowling began at a centre in Penang in 1961 and was somewhat of a novelty. Only the affl uent could afford it as it was an expensive game.
Today, bowling centres have sprouted all over the country and remains a favourite sport for the young and old.
A national bowling association was formed in 1965, but it died quietly in 1973.
Dr Nathan gave the sport a new lease of life when he formed MTBC in 1974, and he has been at its helm since.
Parlour game to world level
From being regarded as a parlour game, bowling has grown into one of the top sports in Malaysia, thanks to the suport by the government.
The results of the Malaysian bowling team over the years and their current standing as one of the top bowling nations in the world speak volumes for what Dr Nathan has done.
But the modest doctor refuses to take full credit and insisted it was the people who worked with him who played an instrumental role in elevating the Malaysian bowling scene to its current status.
They include the likes the late Peter Yap, former national coach Sid Allen, former secretary-general Sidney Tung, the current office bearers and the National Sports Council.
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Dr Nathan cut a dashing figure in his heyday
World level
He was the Asian Bowling Federation vice president in 1975 and later became president from 1984 to 1988.
Dr Nathan was also the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) president for three terms.
He was first elected president in 1987 and served two terms before relinquishing the post.
In 1999, he made a comeback when he saw the sport suffering and was elected for the third time in Abu Dhabi.
Among his contributions were putting bowling houses in order, implementing proper ball controls and lane dressing, implementing world rankings, getting neutral equipment facilities and funds for WTBA and holding regular world coaching clinics and certification for coaches.
He even had bowling shortlisted for the Olympics Games at the IOC meeting in Mexico in 2002, but it didn’t make it to the final round.
He was instrumental in getting bowling included in the 1998 KL Commonwealth Games — for the first time in the history of the Games — and the birth of the inaugural Commonwealth Bowling championship in Scotland last year after having put together the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Federation.
Besides bowling, Dr Nathan also served as vice president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia. He was the chef-de-mission for the 1991 Manila Sea Games and a board member of the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
What more
Asked what more is he looking for the sport, he simply replied: “As long as I can serve the sport and the people want me, I will continue to serve them, “It is the same for my medical profession where as long as my patients believe in me and want to see me, I will serve them.
“I have no succession plans. I believe it will take care of itself when the time comes. There will be people to take over.”
Indian classical music lover
The doctor has other interests too. He loves Indian classical music which is not surprising as his wife was a classical dancer during her younger days. The doctor put his love for music to good use.
He is actively involved in charitable work, having been the secretary of the Kuala Lumpur Home Nursing Service Association.
He has brought the India Beat six times, singlehandedly staging the Charity Concert of Indian Classical Music and Dance.
The proceeds went to the Temple of Fine Arts and setting up a dialysis centre and also the MTBC.
With so much going on in his life, one wonders where he finds the time to put his personal touch in everything he does.