Saturday, December 12, 2015

Every step counts for Poad

By Tony Mariadass

 Poad’s the man for Badrul

If there is one person who can claim credit for discovering sprint sensation  Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap it is coach Mohd Poad Kassim. Afterall, Poad has coached Badrul snce he was 10.
But the 46-year-old claims no such rights – he is merely confident he is the best person to guide the 100m Malaysian record holder to greater heights.
Ever since Badrul’s record breaking feat in the 100mm sprint at the Asean Schools Games championship in Bandar Seri Begawan last month, it has had everybody excited and suggesting various plans for him.
Badrul’s timing of 10.29s in Brunei erased Watson Nyambek’s 17-year-old record timing of 10.30s.
“There has been a lot of attention on Badrul and everyone is suggesting ideas for the future of Badrul including he moves out from Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports Schools – SSTMI (Bandar Penawar, Johor) to go to Kuala Lumpur,” said Poad when met in Merlimau last week when Badrul’s mother Rozinah Baba had a thansgiving lunch at their home at Kampung Batu Gajah Pasir.
“Badrul must be given the room to develop at his own pace and not rushed into things. He is only 18-years-old and very much a kampong boy,” said the 46-year coach who has been coaching Badrul since he was 10 years-old.
Badrul was introduced to Poad by Badrul’s first coach Nuraziah Kassim, who spotted him as a Standard One student at SK Batu Gagah, where she was a Bahasa Malaysia teacher.
“There has been a great deal of media and public attention and even politicians have joined in to share the limelight.
“While I am happy with recognition accorded to that Badrul, but we should not go overboard. I am just afraid that  Badrul will be spolit, loose focus and his true potential not realised.”
Poad said that the best place for Poad is continue to stay at SSTMI where he is a pre-university student.
“If anyone wants to assist they should assist SSTMI be equiped with better facilites to become a state of art training centre. With minimum facilites we have not only managed to produce Badrul, but also have Mohd Haiqal Hanafi, Asnawai Hashim and Khairul Hafi Jantan (all members of the 4 X100m gold medal winning team together with Badrul in Brunei) from the school and training under me.”
Poad said that are many more potential athletes in the school  like Nazreen Esat Hafiz Che Hassan and Muhammad Azam Masri to name two.
SSTMI principal, Suhaimi Sun Abdullah, added that SSTMI should be allowed to grow and be the nueclus to produce more athetes rather than cripple them after some initially success.
Badrul himself has been disturbed by all the attention and wants to be allowed to carry on with his training the usual manner without much fuss.
“I still have a long way to go and do not want to rush into anything. I want to take things in my stride and Poad knows best for me,” said Badrul.
Suhaimi cited an example when Badrul was handed over to the Singapore Sea Games coaching team last year and he pulled a hamstring in training and had to withdraw.
“I know Badrul in and out. For starters he is not a strong or big boy for a sprinter (1.6m and 55kg) and one needs to know his capability of handing the load thrust on him. As much as we are trying to build him to become a stronger athlete, it takes time and careful guidance,” said Poad.
Poad said Badrul and the other athletes are like his own children.
“I have taken care of them from young, had them stay in my house, fed them and spent money for the training, travelling and accomodation expenses. I am not complaining because I am doing it out of love for athletics and the athletes.
“As far as Badrul is concerned, his parents were against him being involved in athletics. Noraziah and me had to do a lot to coaxing to allow them for him to continue in athletics.
“Infact, three days before Badrul’s father (Abdul Manap) passed away, he called me to his home, held my hands and told me that he was surrendering his son to me, gave his blessing for Badrul to pursue his athletics career and told me to take care of him and always guide him to remain humble and work hard for his achievements.
“But moves to rob Badrul from me now is not fair. I am willing to listen to other coaches of their ideas to make him and other athletes under me better. But do take them away from me now.
“I will personally let them go when I know I cannot improve them any further or when the time is right for them to move to another enviorment,” said the father of seven children.
“I am qualified coach specialising in sprints with sports science knowledge and have been a coach since 1997 and am sure I am more than capable of handling Badrul and the rest,” said Poad who holds the Malaysian Athletics Federation/ National Sports Council Level 3 coaching certificate and attained Level Two in Sports Science Level.
Poad attained his teaching certificate from Tunku Ampuan Teachers’ Training College in Kuantan after a two years course in 1996.
Poad, who was an athete in jumps events during his schooling days at English College in Johor Baru (now known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar), started off as a part-time coach with the Malacca Schools Sport Council athletics programme before becoming their fulltime coach from 1997-2013. He had also coached at the Malaysia Games in 2008, 2010 and 2014.
He was the national schools athletics coach for the international Little Athletics championship in Australia in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Other coaching stints included the 1st Asian Schools Track and Field championship in 2013, SIPMA (Malaysian Education Institution Sports) in 2013, Asean Schools Games in Philippines in 2014 and this year in Brunei and to the World Youth championship in Columbia this year.
Poad said that he learnt a great deal when he attended Level 3 coaching course under MAF technical director, Robert Ballard.
“Ballard is partly responsible for Badrul rise because it was what I learnt from him and the course that I applied to see Badrul improve this year.
“I also gain information from the internet and apply any latest methods which are available for training. I also use my overseas coaching stints to learn from other coaches and observe other athletes. I gained quite a bit at the World Youth championship where some of the best youth and coaches were present.
“I am always learning from whatever source available and believe I can impart these acquired knowledge to Badrul and the rest to reach higher heights.”
Indeed, Poad has come a long way with his hard work and determination. And to take Badrul away from him and SSTMI is indeed not right.

Let common sense prevail and the right thing be done in the interest of Badrul and the other potential athletes in SSTMI. 

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