Friday, March 18, 2005

Parents should know their place (18/03/2005 - The Malay Mail)

Date : 18/03/2005
Headline : Parents should know their place

PARENTS are the first step towards a sporting culture which excels at the
highest level.
However, changing times in society, have seen them giving less
importance to sports.
Their lack of interest is reflected in the end products with fewer and
and fewer students doing well in sports.
But in fairness to parents, who still play a major role in churning out
talent from schools, their contribution is indeed immense.
In general, there are three kinds of parents - those who emphasise on
education with loads of tuition than on sports.
Then, we have parents, who take great interest in sports, supporting
their kids with the best equipment, sending them to training and even
attending competitions to create a family carnival by bringing food and
They also spend tons of money in order for their kid to succeed.
The third category of parents are those who get too involved in the
sport and problems arise when teachers lose control of their teams.
More often than not, these parents get emotionally involved, question
selection and lose sense of fairness. This can turn into ugly situations.
This, unfortunately, has certainly been the case in recent years and is
unhealthy for the growth of sports.
In a way, the teachers have to share the blame.
In most cases, the parents get involved as the teachers do not take much
interest in the sports and it is the parents, who get things going.
Before you know it, it is the parents who are running the show.
But when parents get involved, they allow their sentiments and emotions
to get the better of them, especially when it comes to selection.
If teachers are in charge, they would pick the best based because they
want the best to represent the school.
Recently, parents who are upset by teachers' decisions, have even taken
the matter to the Education Department.
Luckily, good sense prevailed with the State and national Education
Departments dismissing such complains, saying parents can't be directly
involved in the selection process.
But the situation will continue if teachers do not take full
responsibility of sports they are in charge of and take the easy way out
when parents offer assistance.
Haresh Deol, Malay Mail Sports stringer, a law student, who has been
covering the schools scene for the last five years, has stories of parents
being overzealous on numerous occasions.
One recent incident involved parents invading a hockey pitch to question
the umpire's decision during a schools game in the Klang Valley.
At a recent bowling championships, parents questioned the selection of
the district team.
But this particular district still emerged tops and eventually, the bulk
of their bowlers helped the State to emerge champions.
There was even an incident where a parent hit a teacher after a heated
If this continues, the few teachers still dedicated to sports, will
disappear to avoid any controversy.
After all, most put their heart and soul coaching - for free.
As such, while parents are the key which unlocks champions, they have to
restrain themselves from getting involved emotionally.
They should assist teachers when asked, in non-controversial areas.
They should work together to bring the best out of children and not act
in any manner which will be detrimental to their development.
On the other hand, kudos to parents who have played important roles in
nurturing champions.
Among the athletes who have succeeded are the Kali Kavandan brothers
Keevan and Logan Raj, Dr Brian Jayhan Sivapathasundram, Shalin Zulkifli,
Wendy Chai, Zandra and Zaid Ibrahim Hakimi, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Nicol
David, Ong Beng Hee, the Sidek and Hashim brothers, Kevin Lim, Timothy and
Delia Arnold and the list goes on.
These parents have set exemplary examples and it is about time they are
recognised publicly.
Perhaps even rewarded, so it makes it worthwhile for other parents to
follow suit.
With the Government now making it worthwhile for students to excel in
sports for a better future, parents should take bolder steps to encourage
their children to excel in sports.

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