Monday, October 17, 1994

Spare Shalin the pain (The Malay Mail)

MALAYSIAN sports is better known for controversies, squabbles and
bickering rather than achievements.
And when something fruitful does come along, it is only a matter of time
before we allow the achievement get the better of us. Or worse, to fade
away just as quickly.
There's already a storm brewing in bowling. And that's unfortunate
because bowlers have always allowed results to speak for them.
They were the top contributors in the Asian Games in Hiroshima, having
won two golds, a silver and two bronze medals, And in the process broke
six Asian Games records - women's doubles (two pairs), womens trios (two
teams), women five players and men's All-Events.
But all that has been spoilt by the controvery surrounding youngster
Shalin Zulkilfi, who won golds in the All-Events and women's trio.
In all started when Shalin's parents misconstrued coach Sid Allen's
statements. Allen never claimed credit for Shalin's victory here.
All he had said was that he was glad Shalins parents have left her to
bowl on her own.
Allen said then: "Shalin is a natural. She needs little coaching and
should be allowed to be independent. She will seek advice when she needs
"Even when she turns to me, I merely correct her flaws, if any. In the
end, she makes her own decision."
Shalin's talent should be encouraged. She doesn't deserve this mental
Shalin's parents role has been signifiant. Nobody can deny them that
credit. But there also comes a time when parents should hand over the
reins to the professionals.
A case in point is swimmer Nurul Huda Abdullah, who faded away before
she realised her full potential. Her mother's influence was just too
The athlete should not become a victim of cirumstances. The youngster
should not be a pawn in a game that adults want to play.
Shalin is a potential world champion but if the pettiness is not nipped
in the bud, she will never make it there.
Allen has been good for Malaysian bowling. With the parent's dedication,
Shalin's own talent and Allen's expertise, the world will be world beckons
Under Allen, the bowlers have improved technically, physically and
mentally. Not many of Malaysia's other athletes can boast about such
complete preparation.
Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) have done well under Dr P.S.
Nathan's leadership. The administration is stable, have a good development
programme and there's continuity in coaching.
Allen has been in the country for four years and MTBC have a nine-year
programme to ensure Malaysia is among the top bowling nations.
MTBC have certainly done better than their local counterparts.
Let's bury the hatchet and work with the interest of sport and nation at

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