Sunday, December 12, 2004

: Sidney wins major international award (The Sunday Mail)

(right) was honoured by the World Bowling Writers (WBW) when they awarded
him the Mort Luby Jr Distinguished Service Award for 2003.
Malaysia received a rare double honour when the the writer of this
article was awarded the Gosten Zellen Golden Quill Award for contribution
in giving the sport publicity.
Sidney was not present in Singapore as he had an important meeting in
Kuala Lumpur. The award was given for his tireless efforts in promoting
bowling worldwide.
Sidney, who began his career in bowling administration since founding
the Kuala Lumpur Tenpin Association in 1976, got involved at the national
level when he was MTBC's assistant secretary from 1978 to 1980.
He was then elected the secretary-general from 1980.
Sidney's first international award was the FIQ Silver Pin Award for
outstanding contribution in Tenpin Bowling 1999.
Sidney is best remembered for calling the media to give them the latest
results as he knew many considered bowling a parlour sport.
He still does it today and even includes pictures as well.
Today bowling is covered widely by all local major newspapers as the
conception of the game has changed and is recognised as a competitive
The increasing support includes being selected as among the eight elite
sports for Government aid.
"I didn't expect to be recognised by the WBW," said Sidney when
contacted in Kuala Lumpur.
"This is an honour which will spur me to strive harder to raise the
popularity of bowling.
"I hope to see it in the Olympics soon."
Date of birth: Jan 6, 1945
Place of birth: Kuala Lumpur
Education: Confusion Chinese Secondary School - Senior middle 3; Senior
Cambridge examination; Technical College Diploma: Architectural
Sports education: American Sports Academy Foundation graduate in sports;
Administration & management, Sport marketing, Sports science, mental
training in high performance sports.
Involvement in Malaysian Sports: Founder of Persatuan Tenpin Bowling
Kuala Lumpur (1976), Vice-president from 1978-1984, sssistant secretary
MTBC (1978-1980), Secretary-general(1980-present), Member of Olympic
Council of Malaysia since 1980, Sport manager of 1998 Commonwealth Games
(1996-1998), CEO of 2003 World Tenpin Bowling Championship
Involvement in international organisations: Secretary of WTBA Asian Zone
(Now ABF 1994-1996), Member of ABF Tournament & Technical Committee (1997-
2004), Member of FIQ Membership Committee (1995-2003), deputy secretary-
general WTBA (1999-2003), WTBA Technical Committee (1999-2003), WTBA
Tournament Committee (1999-2003), WTBA World Ranking Committee (1999-
2003), WTBA Marketing Committee (1999-2003)
Positions in international organisations: Vice-president Asian Bowling
Federation (Since 1997), vice-president Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling
Federation (Since August 2002), ABF chairman statistic & award recognition
committee since 1997, ABF Tour Ltd board member since 2004
International official in following championships
Technical delegate: East Asian Games, China (1993), Asian Youth
Championship, HK (1993), Hiroshima Asian Games, Japan (1994), East Asian
Games, South Korea (1995), AMF Bowling World Cup, Kobe (1998)
Jury of appeal: World Youth Championship, HK (1996), SEA Games, Jakarta
(1997), SEA Games, Brunei (1999), Asian Championship, Doha (2000)
Tournament Director: SEA Games, KL (1989), 1st WTTC, KL (1994), Asian
Youth Championship, KL (1996), Commonwealth Games, KL (1998)
Tournament manager: SEA Games, Penang (2001), World Championship KL
Team manager: SEA Games (1981, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1995), FIQ Asian
Championships (1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998), FIQ World
Championships (1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999), Asian Games (1986), AMF
Bowling World Cup (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
Awards received: PPN (Pingat Pangkuan Negara) from Yang Di Pertuan Agong
(1990), AMN (Pingat Ahli Mangku Negara ) from Yang Di Pertuan Agong
(1999), FIQ Silver Pin Award for outstanding contribution (1999)

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Holloway finally steps into the spotlight (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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Prove me wrong (The Malay Mail)

THE new season kicks off today with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) hoping to
change the image of Malaysian soccer.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the inaugural Malaysian Super
League (MSL) which is seen as another incarnation of the same game.
But FAM deputy-president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah's seriousness
is underlined by the fact he is prepared to quit if the League is not
successful in three years.
A change in names matters little when it is the changing of mindset that
is needed to rejuvenate the game.
It will take clear thinking by parents, teachers, coaches, players,
officials, administrators and fans to make it work.
What has changed from yesteryears is the passion for the game.
We have improved in terms of facilities, finance and technical knowhow.
Semi-pro soccer came in 1989 and we went on to professional status in
Now, 15 years down the road, Malaysian soccer still cannot make an
Most Malaysians enjoy the English Premier League and are very
knowledgeable of it.
It has, sadly, come at a great cost to the local game.
FAM are right to insist on professionalism when it comes to the players
and officials especially since MSL champions get RM500,000 and the
runners-up RM300,000. The third-placed team will take home RM200,000.
But when foreigners take the place of local players in the league, the
selectors will have a hard time coming up with a decent national side.
Tengku Abdullah has said it should serve as a wake-up call for the local
players to fight for their places with improved performances.
But the average Malaysian soccer player is a lowly educated, laidback
character who is happy to earn between RM3,000 and RM10,000 a month for
working 18 to 20 hours a week.
The key roles would be going to players like Phillimon Chipeta of
Zambia, Keith Gumbs of St KItts-Nevis, Slovak Ivan Ziga or Argentine
Ricardo Silva.
Foreign players may draw the fans to watch teams like Perak, Pahang,
Sabah and even Public Bank but it is not going to help local soccer.
The MSL is an attempt to see Malaysian soccer improve but has enough
thought been put into organising a competition that would produce calibre
players like in Japan, Korea and China?
The priority should be to develop a wide base of quality players before
moving to the next level - excellence.
There were many new faces when FAM decided to ban foreign players for
three seasons since 1999 but they may well be discouraged with the arrival
of the imports.
A lot of money is being spent by State teams and clubs on the foreigners
and it would be wise but only if the foreigners were top brains who can
coach and develop players in the States.
This will ensure quality players, with a command of the basics, coming
through from the development programmes and youth teams.
The MSL would be great if it produces the players who go on to become
household names, like it was all those years ago.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

True football man

DELL was a soccer fan since he was just a schoolboy and naturally, it was
Matt Busby's side, Manchester United, that got him hooked on the game.
It was the great players like George Best, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law
and Nobby Stiles who inspired him to become a footballer.
Of course, his elder brother Sadar Khan, a national player, also played
a part when Dell began training with the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung
It was not long before Dell's talent, as a defender, was noticed and he
was selected to the Malaysian youth team in 1968.
The following year, he had already made the senior team and went on to
earn about 30 caps before a serious knee injury forced him out of the
Before he bowed out, however, he had the honour of being part of the
national team who helped Malaysia qualify for the first-ever Olympic
soccer tournament in Munich in 1972.
It was in 1971, in the pre-Olympics, in Seoul, that Malaysia booked
their ticket when they topped the group after beating South Korea, Japan,
Taiwan and the Philippines.
Till today, Dell still recalls the proud moment where he played in all
the matches except against Korea.
He still remembers how Syed Ahmad had headed in a cross from left winger
Looi Loon Teik to give Malaysia the solitary goal for the win.
But sadly, Dell was not on the plane to Munich because he suffered a
knee injury in the run-up training stint in Cologne.
He was among the six players from the pre-Olympics squad of 1971 who had
failed to make the trip to Munich for one reason or another.
The other five were goalkeeper Wong Hee Kok, defender Chan Kok Leong,
midfielder M. Kalimuthu and strikers Yap Eng Hock and Syed Ahmad.
That exclusion and his injury ended his soccer career prematurely when
he was 31.
While he concentrated on his police work after that, his love for sports
never deserted him.
In 1978, he was the secretary for the Royal Malaysian Police Sports
Council and in the 80s, Dell got back to being involved in soccer as an
official, when the former Mayor of Kuala Lumpur and president of KLFA, Tan
Sri Elyas Omar invited him to come on board the Council. He was then co-
opted into the FA of Malaysia disciplinary Board and in 1996 was made the
national soccer team manager where he took charge of the side that
featured in the 1997 Jakarta Sea Games.
Before that, he had already managed the boxing team in the 1978 Sea
In 1998, he was made the independent delegate in the FA of Malaysia.
Dell went on to assume the position of FA of Malaysia secretary-general,
taking over from Datuk Paul Mony Samuel in June 2000, a post which he
still holds.
Dell has not only moved in ranks in the police force, but in soccer too,
where he progressed from a fan to a player and then official and
He is now regarded as a top soccer official in this region and is fast
gaining recognition in the world scene.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Locals could lose out (The Malay Mail)

THE new season starting next month could see a record number of foreign
talents involved in the local leagues but their impact is left to be seen.
The FA of Malaysia (FAM) and their affiliates expect the foreigners to
add glamour, help raise standards and bring the fans back.
The FAM Local Competitions Committee and the FAM Council have apparently
given the matter much thought and are allowing teams a maximum of four
imports although only three can be fielded at any one time in a match.
A conservative 60 players - compared to the previous high of 55 in 1997
- are expected to ply their trade in the eight-team Super League and 18-
team Premier League.
An average of three foreigners per team will see 24 in the Super League
while two per team in the Premier League will see another 36 involved in
the local leagues.
Among the fears in hiring these players is that teams without means
could get into financial difficulties towards the end of the season by
exceeding their budgets.
The FAM Vetting Committee go through all requests to hire foreign
players and demand a bank guarantee from the teams. The committee are also
supposed to check the credentials of the players.
But time and time again many of the signings seldom measure up and their
contracts are terminated before the end of the season.
With Juan Manuel Arostegui making a big impact with Malaysia Cup winners
Selangor MPPJ last season, there has been a rush to hire Argentine
Arostegui, who scored 50 goals, has moved on to greener pastures and it
is anybody's guess how his compatriots will fare.
In the past, Malaysia saw a fair share of social problems created by the
foreign players and it could well be compounded by the increase in their
The great hope is that local players, especially the youngsters, will
learn from the foreigners but teams seldom use the imports in coaching
clinics and other activities that help raise standards.
The biggest setback in signing foreigners is that local players will be
deprived a chance to play in their own leagues.
And players deprived from first team places could well come from the
national and Olympic ranks and that would severely affect the standard of
our national teams.
The hiring of imports could also have an adverse impact on the grooming
of fresh local talent as teams will be tempted to take the easy way out
and buy ready players.
In the end, we could well see a Malaysian league for foreigners to
market themselves.