BADMINTON coach Razlan Rajan Abdullah and judo coach Chew Li Ying were today named the Penang Coach Excellence Awards 2021 winners for men and women respectively.
They were among 19 coaches who were selected by the Penang State Sports Council (PSSC) to receive a Distinguished Coach Certificate each.
This is the second year the awards were given out to recognise the services of responsible and dedicated coaches.
For winning the Coach Excellence Award, Razlan and Li Ying were given an incentive in the form of BSN Sijil Simpanan Premium worth RM1,000 by state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee at Komtar today.
“I have been coaching the state team for the past 15 years and I must say this year’s coaching was the most challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the beginning, it was difficult for the players to adapt to online training via Google Meet and Zoom but they eventually got used to it. I tried my best to motivate them.
“Now, we are back to physical training and our focus will be on Sukma next year. We have a team of 16 boys and 16 girls for the Sukma training. Not all are here; some of them are with the national team.
“We will also continue to train over 60 students from the development squad,” said Razlan, who has handled the state badminton team for the past four Sukma from Sukma Pahang 2012 to Sukma Perak 2018.
For Li Ying, a third dan black holder, she said she was also surprised to receive the award.
During the Covid-19 period, she and fellow coach Md Nashriq Md Nassir drew up special training programmes for their judokas.
“As judo is a contact sport, we could not carry out physical training during the MCO (movement control order).
“However, we gave them programmes to follow and train at home to maintain their stamina and fitness.
“They were bored with online training. But we sent them different sets of programmes and videos to watch to motivate them. Of course, now they are happy again to be able to spar with one another,” said Li Ying, who has been training the state judo team for the past 13 years.
PSSC director Harry Chai Heng Hua said Razlan and Li Ying were both deserving winners for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.
“I think they have given their best to prepare our athletes for Sukma. We hope we will be able to achieve good results in the coming Sukma. But we’re not sure whether judo will be included now that the Sukma has been moved from Johor to Kuala Lumpur next year,” Chai said.
He added that regardless of the obstacles the Penang coaches faced, PSSC was very proud that their coaches did not lose heart to continue to guide their athletes.
The coaches, Chai said, have used current technological facilities to provide training programmes to the athletes who were subsequently monitored through the Zoom application, WhatsApp, Streamyard and Google Meet.
Soon said there are a total of 119 coaches appointed by PSSC this year, either on a full-time or part-time basis to train the athletes and develop them in various sports under the high-performance programme, sports development programme or at grassroots level.
He also congratulated the coaches for showing a high level of commitment in coaching their athletes using other alternative means such as online training.
He called on senior coaches to mentor young coaches and senior athletes to guide junior athletes for the development and progress of sports in the state.
“They should not be selfish. When they are good at certain skills, they should share their knowledge. That is the correct way to develop sports. If they work solo, they will destroy the future of the athlete and team.
“It is my hope that the state will continue to produce more quality and committed coaches,” Soon said in his speech.
The other 17 coaches who also received the Distinguished Coach Certificate were Salina Putriana, Shamani Ganesan (both archery), Jhonny Kasiran from Indonesia (boxing), Khairul Anis Wesdin (cycling), Mohd Azheem Bahari (diving), Foong Kok Seng, Tan Ai Ling (both gymnastic), Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin (hockey), Md Nashriq Md Nassir (judo), Nasir Mohd Noor (petanque), Faizah Ab Aziz (shooting), Raveendran Pongavannam (silambam), Ivan Ng Tien Yuen (squash), Tan Choo Heng (swimming), Cheah Teik Tatt (tenpin bowling), Qin Gan from China and Chong Min Fei (both wushu).
Among those who were present at the awards’ ceremony were PSSC deputy chairman II Cheah Ban Cheng and PSSC management committee member Lim Lay Sim.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan