Friday, June 10, 2005

WHAT'S THE PRICE OF SUCCESS? (10/06/2005 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Edition :
Date : 10/06/2005

DOES success come with a price?
If the price is the dedication, determination, discipline, money spent,
time taken, the presence of committed athletes and officials, it is a
price worth paying.
But of late, sports success has come with some bad elements which
undermine the very success achieved.
Take for instance bowling - a sports not so long ago was only rated as
a parlour game - but has achieved world status and is currently backed by
the Government.
A few years back, there was a revolt by the players to get rid of then
national coach Sid Allen, but the strong stand by the Malaysian Tenpin
Bowling Congress (MTBC) nipped the problem at the bud.
Allen eventually left after a decade's contribution, but the message
was clearly put across to the players that they cannot play politics or
use the game for their own benefit.
But of late, several issues in the bowling fraternity, especially at
the grassroots level, do not augur well for the sports.
Thus it was disappointing to see controversies at the Selangor Games,
which ended last week, with bowling taking the limelight for the wrong
It started with the eligibility of bowlers from the nine districts
where the rules stated they were eligible based on which district they
were born in - a vague rule which could have been more specific like
where they stayed or went to school.
Bowling has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to the success
of the national bowlers.
Thus, for competitions where at most six bowlers are selected, many
bowlers with potential to do well will be left out after the selection
This is an area which has to be looked into, where the bowlers can be
loaned to other teams so that they can compete to gain experience.
The height of the controversy in bowling at the Selangor Games started
the very first day when Siti Nur Shakila Mardyana Aminuddin, who hails
from Petaling Jaya but turned out for Sabak Bernam, won the girls singles
gold medal.
Petaling District protested, stating Siti failed to attend trials and
decided to don Sabak Bernam colours despite not being given permission to
represent another district.
Siti later claimed she had examinations and that is why she missed the
trials and since the Petaling District had already selected their team,
she decided to turn out for Sabak Bernam.
But as a young bowler and guided by parents, they must be aware there
are rules to be adhered.
Her claim that all she wanted to do was bowl, was not good enough.
But as Siti's siblings, Hafiz and Tiara, also turned out for Sabak
Bernam, suggests there is more than meets the eye.
To add to the mockery, the organisers decided to disqualify Siti for
the remaining events, but allowed her to keep the single's gold medal.
This is appalling when governors of the game, who are expected to
adhere to the rules laid down, compromise, it certainly sends a wrong
The organisers claimed they did not want to dishearten any of the young
bowlers, but at the expense of the rules?
Maybe Petaling District could have handled the situation differently by
releasing bowlers who wanted to bowl for another district.
Siti had also flouted the rules in the competition, when she bowled in
an attire that did not follow the rules.
We cannot have our young bowlers, no matter how good they are, have
their own way.
Is this a price we have to pay for early success?
But there were some face-saving factors in the wake of the controversy,
when the father of the second placed bowler in the girls' singles (Siti
Nur Harini), Zainal Hashim, sent an e-mail to the scribe.
Zainal, who works outstation, but keeps a close tab on his two
daughters (the other is Siti Nur Fairuz) through his wife, said: "I am
not much into who wins or loses, but more into the principle of the
"All I want is for my daughter to participate in an environment of true
spirit of sportsmanship and respecting all rules and regulations.
"As parents we should be teaching our sons and daughters to abide by
all rules and regulations set by the authorities."
While Zainal, who also spends a lot of money for his daughters'
involvement in the game, is only asking for fairplay, there are others
who are prepared to win at all cost, by throwing the rule book out the
window, play politics and personal agendas.
Speaking of personal agendas, another storm is brewing.
There have been speculations circulating this week that a vote of
no-confidence is expected to be passed against current president Datuk Dr
P. S. Nathan by several affiliates at the MTBC Council meeting this
Is this another personal agenda to gain power of a game which has grown
in popularity and has gained the strong backing of the Government?
It has been speculated newly elected president of Selangor Tenpin
Bowling Association, Datuk Mohd Aini Taib, the former Selangor soccer
supremo, has been tipped to take over the reigns with the support of
several new faces in the MTBC elected at the last BGM.
Whether this materialises is left to be seen, but it only goes to show
how suddenly a post which many were not interested in not so long ago,
has attracted attention because of the current status of the sports.
All the hard work put in by the current president is all forgotten by a
snap of the finger.
Even if they want Nathan out, to see a fresh face, there is always a
proper way of doing it.
Is this the price one pays for success?

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