Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not Hollo's-way

National bowling coach, was nominated for Coach of the Year for 2013, but failed to awarded.
Badminton's rashid Sidek instead was bestowed the award.
sports247's Tan Wing Wai had a comment piece on Holloway missing out on the award (Read here:

I personally feel without doubt that Holoway was more than worthy and deserving candidate for the Coach of the Year award. It is sad that the panel of judges did not think he was.

Maybe, just because he had won the award for Coach of the Year for 2003 when he had coached the men and women's team to a rare double in the 5th World Tenpin Team Cup in Odense, Denmark and the women's team gold medal win at the 15th World Championship held in KL the same year, or because that bowling was not an Olympic sport he was not considered.

Another theory is that the sport of bowling which has more than one bowling World Cup competition and the Malaysian Tenpin Bolwing Congress, had named the World WTBA Men and Women championship as the championship to be considered for the National Sports Council's (NSC) National Sports Achievement Scheme.

But that is not fair to the sport and Holloway.


Holloway coaching Muhd Syafiq Ridhwan to win the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Wroclaw, Poland last December was a first for Malaysia in the 48th editions. And it indeed no easy feat to win the championship.
Syafiq himself was a deserving candidate for the Sportsman Award too, but of course an Olympic achievement, although it is a silver medal is always ranked higher.

The least the panel could have done was award bowling the recognition through their coach Holloway. The panel may have their reasons, but the matter had to be looked in totality and in the best interest of sports who strive hard to continuously produce results and raise the bench mark each time.

Holloway's besides coaching Syafiq to victory in Wroclaw, also saw Malaysia awarded the Bent Peterson award - awarded to the best country for achievement in men and women - as Sin Li Jane finished fifth.

Never mind Syafiq and Holloway, those who knows sports well enough and view achievements on a level playing field, know that you have done your part and will always be remembered for your achievements.

Recognitions with medals and cash is always rewarding, but sometimes the unrecognised achievements are best remembered and cherished.

 Keep up your good work Holloway and keep up your chin Syafiq!

Below is what I wrote in The Sunday Mail in 2004 when Holloway won the Coach of the Year award for 2003.

It only only underlines the simple man Holloway is, but the modest, hardworking and passionate coach he is and the goodness he has done for the sports of bowling.

Ten years down the road, Holloway is still the same man and working hard to continously put Malaysian bowlers on the World Cup.

March 21, 2004 (The Sunday Mail)

THIS was one occasion bowling coach Holloway Cheah could not shun away from the publicity and limelight when he was accorded Coach of the Year 2003 award by the National Sports Council on Tuesday night in a glittering ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

Holloway, the former national bowler in the 1970s, has always stayed away from the limelight in his coaching career which he started soon after hanging up his gloves following the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games. His award was for his contribution last year where he played a major part in the national team's success in winning both the men and women's 5th World Tenpin Team Cup titles in Odense, Denmark, and the gold by the women's team of five at the 15th World Championship in Kuala Lumpur.

But Holloway's contribution to the sport has been longstanding and his award was way past due. A member of the 1978 Bangkok Asiad team who won Malaysia's first ever bowling gold medal, the sport has been his way of life from young.

Holloway, who turned 62 on Nov 27, came to Kuala Lumpur from Penang in the 1960s looking for a job and he joined Federal Bowl. Basketball was his first love and bowling was second during his schooldays.

But all that changed when he was with Federal Bowl, where he later joined the food and beverage department in the hotel before moving to Star Bowl in the former Merlin Hotel (now Concorde Hotel). It was here that Holloway started his coaching career and helped set up the Star Bowl youth team. He then took charge of the Kent Bowl youth team when the Star Bowl moved to Kent Bowl in Asia Jaya.

It was in 1984 that Holloway first started to get involved with the national team and national development coaching. Through the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) and National Sports Council (NSC), he had the opportunity to work under three great American coaches over several years with special certification through Dick Ritger for basic and silver certification programme, Bill Taylor for ball drilling and coaching programme, and all-time great Tom Kouros while he was here in 1987 to prepare the national side for the Helsinki World Championships.

Within this period, Holloway played a part in moulding the team who later mounted a serious challenge at the 1987 Asian Youth Championships at Tokyo where Karen Lian and Lydia Kwah won the girls doubles and then dominated the 1989 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

From May 1990 until 2000, he worked with Sid Allen as the local national coach and gained a great deal of experience from the Canadian, who is one of the best coaches in the world.

Together, they brought success after success to the country while at the same time, developed many young bowlers to form a huge pool. From May 2001, Holloway took over as national chief coach and was responsible for winning seven gold medals at the 2001 KL SEA Games and two golds in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.

In between, there were countless international victories. His greatest moment, of course, was leading the men and women's team to victory in Odense for the first ever wins in the World
Team Cup and the women's gold medal at the World Championships. Holloway has since quit as national chief coach as he was spending too much time travelling which prevented him from managing the Pyramid Megalanes fulltime.

Holloway worked with Chris Batson during the World Championships. He had earlier made personal recommendations that Batson, who was hired as the roving development coach, be made the national coach. But bowling is much thicker than blood and he still helps Batson and MTBC in their development programme, but on a part-time and as-and-when basis. Asked about the recognition given to him, he shifted the attention to his bowlers saying it was them who brought success and he was just tagging along.

And that is truly Holloway. A man who works very hard, but stays in the background when success comes and lets the athletes enjoy the glory. It is indeed hard to see such a coach like Holloway come by, who not only is a knowledgeable coach, but who puts emphasis on his team and takes the backseat each time they do well.

It is hardly surprising the bowlers have the utmost respect for him and only address him as "Sir". Not that he demanded it but it was out of respect.

Holloway's philosophy is simple: "Respect is earned and not demanded." "I always felt the bowlers have to trust your ability for them to give you the attention and respect," said Holloway.

"I always make it a point to be close to the bowlers because I need to know them well enough to work with them. "But that does not mean just because I am close with them, I compromise when it comes to training. "We know where to draw the line between friends and coach. "I have never had any problems with the bowlers," said the father of four. His only daughter,

Esther, is testimony of that. He personally coached his 17-year-old daughter and did not spare her from the tough regiment.

And Esther finally made the grade when she was promoted to the national team. Maybe, it was for this reason too, that Holloway felt it was about time he stepped down as national coach, because the last thing he would have wanted to hear is his daughter is in the national squad because he is the father.

There is no doubt Esther made the national team on merit and it was a proud moment for
Holloway when she graduated into senior rank. His eldest son, who is 31, is a pilot while the other two, aged 27 and 21, only bowl for recreation. Holloway may have bowed out from the national team without fanfare, but his legacy could well be continued by his daughter, who is fast turning out to be a force to be reckoned with.

We certainly have not heard the last of Cheahs yet!

No comments: