Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mej Maniam the Squash Guru

Malaysia’s Mej (Rtd) S. Maniam is a household name in India among the squash fraternity. And it is no surprise for the 56-year-old has been the Consultant Coach with the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFi) for the last eight years based in Chenai. Maniam’s present contract ends at the end of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in October, but SRFi has already offered him an extension for another two years.
The former Malaysian national squash champion, national coach, Director of Coaching and basically “Mr Squash of Malaysia” when met in New Delhi at the test event for the Commonwealth Games, confirmed that he will be accepting the two year extension. “It has been bliss for me here the last eight years and I see no reason not to stay on,” said Maniam who is certainly the most decorated Asian squash personality. He was inducted to the Asian Squash Federation last year and besides his position in India, he is also the Director of Coaching for the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) and World Squash Federation (WSF). He has conducted more than 200 coaching courses at various levels. And SRFi is also very happy with Mej Maniam because he is one-man squash machine for he not only is a coaching consultant, but he conducts coaching and umpires courses, umpires, trains technical officials, helps in administration – basically the same he was doing in Malaysia and was largely responsible for putting Malaysian squash in the world map. Indeed Malaysia’s loss is India’s and the world’s gain. But Maniam bears no grudges with Squash Racquet Association of Malaysia (SRAM). “I am still very close with SRAM and keep constant touch. I go back regularly to conduct courses in Malaysia and SRAM still consults me on coaching matters. In any case SRAM president, Datuk A. Sani Karim is also the president of ASF. Maniam said that he has been very satisfied in India because of the progress they have made in the game. In the Women’s world ranking, India has Joshna Chinappa ranked sixth and Dinika Pallkal ninth, while in Asian men’s ranking Saurav Ghosal is ranked fourth and 27th in the world. Saurav has defeated Asian top seed and Malaysian Mohamed Azlan Iskandar on four occasions Dipika was top seed in the world junior championship, but was ousted in the quarterfinals. “It is my hope before I leave India to see an Indian player emerge champion in the world championship, be it senior or junior championship. It is definitely not impossible with the progress made by the Indian players. “They are a very determined and motivated lot and squash has certainly grown tremendously in India has a good following,” said the father of three daughters. Mej Maniam is highly respected in India and everybody looks up to him as the “Guru of the Game”.
The SRFI awarded National level coaches for their outstanding contribution for the development of the sport in India in 2006. The three-day coaching conference conducted by Maj. (R) S. Maniam, Consultant Coach (second from left) and Cyrus Poncha, National Coach.
D.O.B:                                                11 March 1954  Place of Birth:                                                Kuala Lumpur
Nationality:                                                     Malaysian
Marital Status:                                Married with three daughters
Hobbies:                                                           Reading and Golf
Malaysian Armed Forces                            1972 - 1992
Graduated                                                       Military Academy- Portsea, Australia 1975
Hobbies :                                                          Reading and Golf
Appointments :
1983-1985                                                        Assistant National Coach
1986-2002                                                        Director of Coaching – SRAM
1986-2002                                                        National Chief Coach – SRAM
1990-current                                                    Director of Coaching – ASF
1999-2002                                                        Chairman Malaysian Sports Coaches Association
1995 - 2000                                                      Consultant Coach –WSF
1995 - current                                                  WSF Coaching Committee member
1997- current                                                   Seeding Panel – WSF & ASF
1996-2000                                                        Referee Advisor – WSF
1997-1998                                                        WSF International Referee
2009                                                                  Referee Appointments Review Panel, WSF
2009                                                                  Director of Coaching and Development -WSF
1980, 1983, 1984, 1985                  Sportsman of the year for Squash Malaysia
1980                                                                  Player of the year-East Asia
1985                                                                  Armed Forces Sportsman of the year 
1998                                                                  Malaysian Coach of the year (all sports)
1999                                                                  Award of Recognition by WSF
2009                                                                  ASF Hall of Fame
Achievements as Player
1976                                                                  Started squash

Word Championships

1979 – Australia (Player)
1983 – New Zealand (Player)
1985 – Egypt (Player)
Asian Championships
1981 – 1st Asian Championships – Pakistan (Player)
1984 – 2nd Asian Championships – Jordan (Player/Captain)
1986 – 3rd Asian Championships – Malaysia (Player/Captain)
East Asian Squash Championships (EASC)
1979 -  4th  EASC – Bangkok (Player)
1980 -  5th  EASC – Malaysia (Player) Nominated Player of the year
1981 -  6th  EASC – Hong Kong (Player)
1982 -  7th  EASC – Bangkok (Player/Captain)
1983 -  8th  EASC – P.N.G. (Player/Captain)
1984 -  9th  EASC – Singapore (Player/Captain)
1985 – 10th EASC – Manila (Player/Captain)
1986 – 11th EASC – Singapore (Player/Captain)
National Championships
1981 – Runner-up
1983 – Champion
1984 – Runner-up
1985 – Champion
Malaysia Closed Championships
1980 – Champion
1981 – Runner-up
1983 – Runner-up
1984 – Runner-up
1985 – Runner-up
Guinness National Squash Circuit
1984 – Champion
1985 – Champion

SRAM Closed Championships

1980 – Champion
1981 - Champion
Armed Forces Championships
1978 – 1988  -  Champion (11 consecutive years)


Nominated Sportsman of the year for Squash 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985.
                              Coaching Qualifications
1980                                                   Level 1
1981                                                   Level 1 Course Instructor
1982                                                   Level 2                               
1983                                                   Assistant National Coach-Malaysia                                          
1983                                                   Level 2 Course Instructor
1986                                                   National Coach                                
1986                     `                             Level 3 (England)
1989                                                   Level 3 Course Instructor    Achievements as Coach
Worked with players who became world junior men’s and women’s champions  as well as players who became British Junior Open champions and winners of several international titles.
Compiled and successfully implemented the Squash Coaching Curriculum in Malaysia and India
Created and implemented the Sportexcel Junior Squash Circuit - Malaysia
Compiled and successfully implemented the National Junior Development Programme in India
Compiled and successfully implemented the Squash Coaching Curriculum for the Asian Squash Federation.
Introduced an Instructors course to the Asian Squash Federation
Conducted more than 100 Level 1 Courses, 13 Level 2 Courses and 3 Level 3 Courses in Asia.
Lectured at the World Coaching Conference (Brazil), WSF AGM (Austria) and Coaching conferences in Asia.
Conducted more than 100 coaching courses, several seminars and coaching/ clinics in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Bahrain.
Successfully groomed several coaches in the region. Some of whom are Allan Soyza (National Coach), Raymond Arnold (National women’s coach and now roving coach Malaysia), Peter Chee (National Development officer-Malaysia), Cyrus Poncha (Recipient of the highest coaching award in India- the Dronacharya Award)
Outstanding achievements of Teams
Malaysia              -              East Asian Champions (Senior and Junior)
-              Asian Junior Champions - Junior Men and Junior Women
-              Asian Champions – Men and Women
-              World Junior Men – 6th placing
-              World Junior Women – 2nd placing
-              World Senior Men – 7th placing
-              World Senior Women – 10th placing
India                     -           World Junior Men – semi finalist
-              World Junior Women – semi finalist
-              World men’s team – 8th    
-            World Doubles – men – 2nd
                            -           Asian Championships – Men 3rd, Women – 3rd
-            Asian Junior – Men-2nd, Women-1st
-            International Doubles invitation – Women’s -1st
Outstanding Achievement Individuals
Malaysia              Nicol David – World Junior Champion
                              Ong Beng Hee – World Junior Champion
Others - Kenneth Low, Mohd.Azlan, Sharon Wee, Tricia Chua, Delia Arnold
India                     Saurav Ghosal – British Junior Open - Champion, Asian Junior – 2nd
Joshna Chinappa – British junior Open -Champion, Asian Junior – Champion
Parth Sharma – National Jr. Champion
Dipika Pallikal – Asian Junior Champion – U15
Anaka  - Asian Jr. Champion –U15
Harinder Pal Singh – PSA satellite winner
Others -, Naresh Kumar, Ravi Dixit, Ramit Tandon, Abhishek Pradhan, Kush Kumar, Deepak Misra, etc.
 Other contributions
Created and helped implement the ASF Performance Awards
Created and helped implement the ASF Coaching Awards
Initiated the Asian annual individual junior championships
Initiated the WSF annual individual junior championships

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