Shamani and Nasir clinch Penang’s Coach Excellence Awards

ARCHERY coach Shamani Ganesen and petanque coach Nasir Mohd Noor received a pleasant surprise today when they were named the Coach Excellence Award winners for women and men respectively in Penang.


The duo received a certificate plus BSN Sijil Simpanan Premium worth RM1,000 each from the state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee in a simple ceremony in Komtar today.


They were also among 14 coaches who were selected by the Penang State Sports Council (PSSC) to receive an Appreciation Certificate each from Soon. In all, PSSC has 134 coaches working either part-time or full-time.


Soon says the introduction of the Coach Excellence Award is to recognise the coaches’ contributions and inspire other coaches to raise their standard.


Shamani, 34, who is a full-time coach, said the award was unexpected.


“It is a boost for me to go to the next level. When I was an archer, I only thought of my event. But as a coach, I have to care more for my trainees, be very patient and humble, learn all their characters and also update my knowledge of the equipment every year.


“One of the challenges as a coach is to deal with the students’ parents, especially when it comes to their children’s education or tuition. It’s more about management,” she said.


Shamani’s high points as an archer were winning a silver medal (70m) for Malaysia in the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam and representing Malaysia in the 2004 World Championships in New York. She then became a part-time coach with PSSC after her 2008 Sukma in Terengganu and after two years, became a full-time coach.


Under her guidance, the Penang’s men’s compound team, comprising M. Khambeswaran, Syed Imran Syed Ibrahim and Muhamad Faris Jamaludin, won the archery team gold in the 2018 Sukma in Perak.


Kelantan-born Nasir, who has lived in Penang for the past 20 years, said he was shocked to receive the award.


“This is beyond my expectations. I thought we coaches were invited to come here for a ‘makan’.


“The award will inspire me to continue doing my best.


“To me, it is important to start coaching athletes from young and build a good rapport with the athletes. If we can get them to start from Form One or UPSR (Standard Six), all the better. We should get some results when they are in Form Four,” said Nasir, who has been a full-time coach with PSSC since 2011.


When Nasir coached the national team, Hafizuddin Mat Daud won the men’s singles gold medal in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.


Penang’s foreign athletics coaches – Rifat Artikov (left) and his wife Olesya Gasparyan (right) from Uzbekistan – posing with Chai after receiving their Appreciation certificates.


Soon said the awards were to recognise the contributions of the coaches, who are responsible, dedicated and trustworthy.


“The awards are to also inspire other coaches to raise their standard. Coaches, like athletes, also need to improve themselves by learning new knowledge and skills,” Soon said in his speech.


He added that last year Penang sent five state coaches to attend the 12th ICCE Global Conference in Tokyo from Oct 30 to Nov 1. They were Tan Choo Heng (swimming), Jiwa Mohan (hockey), Md Nashriq Md Nasser 9judo), Vasanthan Karthiaskasan (karate) and Tan Ai Lin (gymnastic).


PSSC director Harry Chai Heng Hua said the state coaches were picked on four main factors. They are the quality of their training sessions they introduced, their involvement in PSSC programmes, their personal qualities and the performance of their charges in tournaments.


The 14 coaches who received Appreciation certificates were Nasir Mohd Noor (petanque), Muhammad Hafiz Zahari (lawn bowls), Azheem Bahari (diving), Foong Kok Seng (gymnastic), Tan Ai Ling (gymnastic), Jhonny Kasiran (boxing), Rifat Artikov (athletics), Olesya Gasparyan (athletics), Shuhairi Chin (pencak silat), Vicknesvaran Umapathy (athletics), Chong Min Fei (wushu), Thor Chee Yee (karate kata), Mohamad Fazil Mohd Asri (speak takraw) and Shamani Ganesen (archery).


Among those present at the awards’ ceremony were Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi, Batu Uban assemblyman A. Kumaresan, PSSC deputy chairman 2 Cheah Ban Cheng, PSSC coaching committee chairman V. Jayanandhan and PSSC management committee member Lim Lay Sim.


Story by K.H. Ong

Pix by Chan Kok Kuan