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Friday, February 09, 2001

Football - BAFA president issues statement

The recent happenings at the BAFA Council elections took yet another new turn when Pehin Dato Hj Hussain, President of BAFA and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports issued a statement last night.
The statement was a short one and the full text is as following:

"With reference to the article in the Borneo Bulletin dated 8th February, 2001, regarding the BAFA Annual General Meeting and Election of BAFA Council held on 4th February, 2001, I, as President of BAFA (Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports) take responsibility for the negligence in conducting the election and accepting the nomination of Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem, in his absence, as one of the Vice Presidents of BAFA."

Pehin Hussain, as President, was himself re-elected in Sunday's AGM but has constantly maintained his reluctance to accept the post again and has said he would decide on his future soon.

Following the AGM, the BAFA council has yet to convene to discuss the pending issues of importance, the magnitude of which may well affect Brunei's participation the 2001 Malaysian League.

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Bowling - Patrick Molison wins

Kota Kinabalu: The City Day 8 Pin Tap Bowling Tournament that ended at CPS Bowl last night saw Patrick Molison emerged champion to win the cash prize of RM1,000.00 and a trophy.

The tournament which was held especially for bowlers averaging 160 pinfalls and below required bowlers to knock down eight out of ten pins to obtain a strike. Seventy three bowlers participated in the preliminary round where they had to qualify over a four-game series. Twenty one bowlers, after three weeks of qualifying, then advanced to the final round.

In second and third spots were Tamring Kuba and Julius Francis who received RM600.00 and RM400.00 respectively as well as trophies. Rasemah G, the sole woman finalist managed fourth placing to earn RM300.00.

Cash prizes were given until the eight placings while Bowling Pro Shop and free game vouchers were given to the rest of the finalists. The same group of bowlers can now look forward to the 9 Pin Tap Tournament which is ongoing at CPS Bowl with attractive prizes awaiting the winners.

Final Results: 1.Patrick Molison (3165 pinfalls) 2.Tamring Kuba (3125), 3.Julius Francis (3064), 4. Rasemah G (3060), 5.Gerald Bontong (3043). 6.Mohd Noorhan Ibrahim (3041), 7. Zulkifli Abd Latif (3026), 8.Sudin Abas (2992), 9.Hassan Ag Mindar (2988), 10. Azimat Abd Rahman (2947), 11.Abd Rahman Hamid (2932), 12. Ismail Nizamuddin (2912).

Source: Daily Express

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Football - FAM wants fit players only

Kota Kinabalu: The State football players will not be licensed to play any matches under FAM's jurisdiction if they failed the fitness test to be conducted by the national body on Feb. 17.

"This is the new rule issued by the FAM and all registered players under the football associations around the country would have to abide by it," said Sabah FA vice-president Datuk Ansari Abdullah. The ruling covers the FA, Premier League and Malaysia Cup.

Ansari's statement came in the wake of several players whose fitness are very much in doubt following the fitness test conducted by coach Ken Worden recently. The FAM had decided to implement the new ruling due to the failing fitness standard of the players in the league as observed in the matches last season.

"But they (Rhinos players) are training hard to ensure their berth in the team are assured and this can only be done if they pass the fitness test," he said. Ansari, who is also the chairman of the Sabah FA Competition Committee, was told that three players were identified as having serious problems with their fitness.

However, he declined to name them but at the same he urged the squad to keep-up with Worden's fitness training to ensure they pass the fitness test. On the statement by Sabah Sports Board (SSB) general manager Herman Tiongsoh that the Likas Stadium would be closed for upgrading and renovation works for the Sukma in 2002 as of Feb. 28, he said the Sabah FA would write a letter to the GM to allow matches to be played there.

"We will discuss with Herman and Datuk Rubin Balang to allow us to use the Likas Stadium for the FA Cup and Premier Two matches because apart from the Penampang Stadium there are no other venue that can be utilised for the matches," he said. The FAM second item in its agenda on Feb. 17 is to conduct a check on the football fields in Likas and Penampang Stadia to see if they are suitable to be used for matches.

Ansari said among the facilities that would be checked by the FAM officials were the availability of floodlights to enable football matches to be played at night. "But if we are not allowed to use the Likas Stadium, we have no choice but to either relocate the venue to Labuan Stadium or to play all the matches away.

"This will definitely create a big problem for Sabah FA because we have to increase our travelling expenditure plus lodging and food. Unfamiliar training ground would certainly affect the players' morale and concentration. "The loss of homeground support is another reason why the Likas Stadium must be used for the football matches," he said.

The Penampang Stadium is deemed unsuitable because they are no floodlights for night matches. "We have ten days to overcome this problem but I hope we can find a solution soon not only for the benefit of the football fans but also to the team and the development of football in Sabah," he said.

Meanwhile, it is believed that the long overdue Sabah FA annual general meeting will now be held on Feb. 24. The Registrar of Societies when contacted declined to confirm the date due to a directive issued by its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Source: Daily Express

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Thursday, February 08, 2001

Sukma - More funds for sports

Kota Kinabalu: Youth, Culture and Sports Development minister Datuk Rubin Balang assured sports associations in the state of a double allocation in funds starting this year to ensure the welfare of Sukma athletes are looked after in their preparation for the Games next year.

He said all the associations would receive their allocations in March through the State Sports Council, while another special allocation would be channelled through the Sabah Sports Board.

Rubin said this when receiving two courtesy calls from the Sabah Sepaktakraw Association (SSA) led by its president Datuk Nahalan Haji Damsal, and the Sabah Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Association (Sawba) led by Philip Gisan at his office yesterday.

"The ministry is gearing up to distribute the funds but because the funds are limited, the sports associations need to look for their own sponsors to finance their activities.

"However, this year the associations will receive a special allocation to be used for the Sukma athletes," he said.

Rubin said his ministry would assist the associations wherever it could especially in granting their requests for sports equipment and training venues for the state and Sukma athletes.

"I urge all the officials and associations to work closely with my ministry and the Sabah Sports Board to ensure all our plans to form a strong Sukma contingent materialise," he said.

As host to the 9th Sukma in September 2002, he said: "All parties who are involved need to be committed to make sure we give our best as organisers as well as medal contenders."

He urged the associations to go all out for gold medals in their Sukma quest.

He said the ministry had forwarded a request to the National Sports Council for extra 14 sports disciplines to be added into the current 27 games.

The sporting events to be contested are aquatics, archery, badminton, tenpin bowling, gymnastics, hockey, cycling, golf, sepak takraw, squash, athletics, sailing, boxing, karate, taekwondo, silat, rugby, soccer, tennis, table-tennis, basketball, lawn bowl, netball, rowing and weightlifting.

The Games main venue is the Likas Stadium and several sporting sites in Kota Kinabalu and Penampang.

In a report last year (Dec. 15), Chief Minister Datuk Osu Sukam who is also the Sukma Organising Chairman, said the Likas Stadium would be upgraded from its present seating capacity of 18,000 to 32,000 to accommodate the influx of visitors to the Games. Osu said the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) campus at Likas would be the Games Village.

Meanwhile, Datuk Nahalan gave a letter requesting the ministry for RM57,000 to finance sepak takraw activities for this year.

He said the sepak takraw team would be competing in the Perilys National Circuit, Khir Johari Cup, Astaka Cup, Youth Championship and state level tournaments.

Source: Daily Express

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Football - Rhinos concentrating on fitness training

Kota Kinabalu: Fitness level of the Rhinos players seems to be the main concern for team manager Osman Jamal with the first match only a month away.

Sabah will meet Kuala Lumpur Malay Mail in the first round of the FA Cup competition on March 13 while the return match will be held on March 17 at Likas Stadium.

"Our preparation for the FA Cup was quite slow and because of this our fitness training did not start earlier," he said when contacted yesterday.

He said the festive season was also the reason why training was not held earlier as many of the players went back to their hometowns to celebrate the various festivals with their families.

"But starting this week we will concentrate largely on fitness and to be followed by technical and strategy pointers during training," he said.

Sabah was demoted to Premier Two last season after a string of losses and injury to key players.

Fans who came by the thousands before, dwindled to mere hundreds towards end of last season. They were disappointed with the fitness of the players. Coach Ken Worden appeared to recognise the shortcomings and embarked on a fitness training since he came back from his holidays in Australia.

During the pre-fitness test held last month, Worden admitted that some of the players needed to buck up or else they would find themselves being replaced by fitter players.

Meanwhile, Osman said he saw no reason why Sabah should not win promotion to Premier One this season.

"I am confident that we will be able to go up if you look at the players we have in the team. But the players must be committed and stay focused on getting the job done," he said.

On the newly signed local import players, he said they were getting along well with the other players.

"Although Sharin Majid came only this month, he appeared the have developed a rapport with his team-mates," he said.

Rizal Sukiman and K. Sanbagamaran who came early last month are also adapting well to the environment and mixing well with the other Rhino players.

Osman said Rizal might appear slow in his movements but actually he could be quite devastating as a goal poacher because of his experience and skills.

Both Rizal and Sanbagamaran were crucial midfielders for Johor and Selangor respectively last season. They were approached by the Sabah FA to beef-up the midfield department after the departure of midfield general Yap Wai Loon, who is now playing for Kedah.

Kedah is also in Premier Two.

Source: Daily Express

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Tennis - Old guns still smoking

SARAWAK'S evergreen Kho Kui Leong and Dr Colin Tan kept the State flag flying high when they dominated the 65-69 years age group in the first leg of the Malaysian Veterans Age Group Tennis Championship held at the National Tennis Centre at Jalan Duta in Kuala Lumpur.

Kho, the first Borneo champion, emerged champion after beating his doubles partner Tan 7-5, 6-4 in the singles finals.

"It was worth it as most of us trained hard for the tournament," said Kho, who pocketed RM500 from his victory. Tan collected RM300 as runner-up.

Kho notched another victory when he partnered Tan to win the Round Robin doubles competition. The two veterans picked another RM150 each.

Another Sarawakian, John Nain, who took a one-and-a-half year break from the sport, collected RM300 in prize money when he finished runner-up in the 50-54 age group.
He went down to John Santos from Kuala Lumpur.

"I was reluctant to play singles because I was away from the sport for over a year," said Nain, who did not expect to go that far in the championship.

"Most of the Sarawakians were beaten except Kho Kui Leong and Dr Colin Tan in the 65-69 category. I had to dig deep in the semis, which stretched to a third set, to reach the finals," Nain added.

He said the three first leg winners would now concentrate on the second leg in August.
This is the first time the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia is organising a tournament for veterans in Malaysia.

The competition offers a total prize money of RM30,000.
The top two winners in each group will be selected to represent Malaysia in the Grand Finals of the Asian Circuit in Perth at the end of the year with all expenses paid.

(By Scott Apoi)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Badminton - Absence of qualified coaches a major problem

THE ABSENCE of qualified badminton coaches have been attributed as the main reason for the inability of state associations to produce able players to represent the country.

Pahang Badminton Association Secretary Wan Mohamed Wan Awang said they had coaches but they were not qualified enough to help improve performance of state players.

"Pahang has many young and good players but the problem is we don't have qualified coaches to train them," he said commenting on statement by BA of Malaysia (BAM) President Datuk Nadzmi Salleh on Tuesday that some state associations had failed to help the national association to produce able players.

Speaking to Bernama, Wan Mohamad said the BAM should also look at the problems faced by state associations.

"Even if the players train hard but without qualified coaches, they cannot become excellent players," he said.

Nadzmi, who lamented on the insignificant role of state associations in the development of the game, said, "I have visited several state BAs and most of them are not active and this has to change."

Their seeming indifference to this crucial aspect of the game has all but deprived the national body of a wider base of selection.

Nadzmi said it will be one of his main obligations to make the state associations realise the importance of development programmes. "My main aim is to visit all the state BAs and stress on the importance of development programmes. They must realise this.

"We will discuss the matter during our council meeting next week (Feb 17) to encourage the states to play bigger role," he added.

So far, Nadzmi had visited Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan, Sarawak, Kedah and currently Perlis to witness the National Grand Prix Finals and meet state badminton officials.

The lack of initiative by the state associations in development came to light when they gave the tournament the cold shoulder and sent only a handful of shuttlers to the national trials on Feb 21-24.

State associations were required to send a player for each category -men and women singles and doubles.

However, the men singles attracted 10 entries while doubles had only three pairs. The women category was worse, with seven entries in the singles and only a pair for the doubles.

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Football - Royal presence in BAFA setup

While the BAFA council still remains in limbo with several of the top members yet to confirm themselves to their respective posts, it has been revealed that the fourth vice-presidential post, originally withheld by BAFA, has gone to Prince Abdul Hakeem.
The information still has not been officially released by BAFA but sources present at the annual general meeting on Sunday were able to confirm that Prince Hakeem was indeed voted to one of the four vice-presidential offices available.

Prince Hakeem is an active sportsman and made history last year when he became a part of Brunei's first Olympic contingent to Sydney, representing Brunei in the shooting event.

The Prince also won a medal at the 1999 SEA Games in Brunei with his sharp-shooting skills.

The other three vice-presidents voted in on Sunday were Pg Hj Yussoff Pg Hj Bahar, Pg Hj Ali Hassan Pg DSLJ Hj Abas and Hj Alidon Hj Laidin.

Pehin Dato Hj Hussain, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports was re-elected as president of BAFA as was Pg Hj Metusin Pg Hj Matasan in his seat as secretary-general.

However, both men, along with the returning Pg Yussoff have made it very clear of their intentions to step aside for new blood. They have all accepted their positions in principle but will all announce at the next council meeting whether they will take it up full-time.

Throughout the AGM on Sunday, both Pehin Hussain and Pg Metusin stressed in no uncertain terms that they felt they had held their seats for long enough and that new blood was required to fill in their spots should BAFA wish to avoid stagnancy.

Hj Shukri Pehin Dato Dr Hj Md Zain, current assistant team manager for the Brunei national team, was elected as deputy secretary-general while team manager Hj Razak Hj Ibrahim retained his seat as registrar. One other council post went to Hj Saidin as the match secretary.

The post of treasurer remains vacant for now with Hj Razak raising the point that there is too much sensitivity surrounding this post and there should be another meeting to decide who should take up the post.

It was Pg Yussoff who previously held the post before shocking the nation by resigning from that post midway through the previous season. Jeffrey Pang remains the deputy treasurer.

The lingering doubt regarding the stability of the council is a worrying one given that the members have very little time before they have to make a decision that could well affect the future of Brunei football.

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Wednesday, February 07, 2001

Hockey - Tourney to pick State players

THE inaugural Inter-Centre of Excellence/Centre of Development under-19 women's hockey tournament will be held at the State Hockey Stadium in Kuching from Feb 17-18.

Three outstation teams - SMK Oya, SMK Dalat, SMK Song and SMK Patinggi Kedit Betong - have confirmed their participation in the competition.

Other centres involved are SMK Bau Lake, SMK Penrissen, SMK Sg. Tapang and SMK Muara Tuang.

The competition is being organised by the State Sports Council Sarawak (SSCS) to prepare the State team for Sukma XI in Sabah next year.

Hockey coordinator with the SSCS S M Samy said yesterday he had already got the green light from the council to hold the tournament.

"We have sent out invitations to all our centres of excellence and centres of development and all have responded positively," he said.

Samy, who is also the State women's hockey coach, said the tournament also served to select aspiring players to represent the State in the National Under-21 championship and the Arafura Games.

The former will be held in Kuala Lumpur from March 12-20 and the latter in Darwin, Australia in May.

Samy said ex-students, who are still eligible for the next Sukma, are also encouraged to participate in the tournament.

"We have several players from the last year's Sukma squad who have left school but are still eligible for the next Games."

"We encourage them (school leavers) to take part in the tournament, but they shall represent their former school," he said.

(By Rintos Mail)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Boxing - Sarawak to enlarge pool of heavyweight boxers

THE Sarawak State Sports Council (SSSC) are placing its focus on enlarging its pool of boxers for the heavyweight categories as part of their preparation for the next Malaysia Games (Sukma XI) in Sabah next year.

SSSC boxing coordinator, Stanley Jemat said most of the boxers currently training at its nine Centres of Excellence and Development in the State were those of the lightweight and under categories.

"To have boxers of heavier weights would give us some advantages in the next Sukma if the organisers maintain the previous Games system where boxers would be awarded points together with the medals or final positions achieved," he added.

Met during a break of a boxing clinic organised by SSSC at the SMK Bintulu in Bintulu, Stanley said as in the past Sukmas, there will be 12 categories of weights to be featured in Sabah Sukma.

To search for the right candidates to represent Sarawak in the Games, the council had planned to organise an inter-centres of excellence and development competition in April.

From the competition, between two and three boxers who excelled in each category would be absorbed into the State Sukma VIII Shadow Team and they would have just over one year of training in preparation for the Games.

"We are planning to absorb about 24 to 36 boxers into the proposed Shadow Team and with more boxers, we will have more choices to pick from for the Games," said Stanley.
On a long term target, he said the council are also looking at maintaining a number of boxers between the age of 17 and 21, the eligible ages to box in Sukma.

"Boxers come and go where by the time they had passed 21, we will have to turn to younger boxers to take over," he said, adding that the council would try to bring in boxers at the youngest age possible to give them more time to be built up.

Stanley said that training programmes carried out in countries like Thailand and Indonesia had proven that a boxer could reach an international standard if given sufficient time to train and gain exposure.

He said boxers in those countries were trained as early as 13 years old and in Sarawak, he cited Sea Games boxer Zainuddin Sidi as one of the products of early training.

The establishment of the centres of excellence and development set up at several places in the State was one of the council's approaches to unearth new talents and giving them proper training.

With some 200 boxers training at the various centres, he hoped that the clinic that they conducted here would successfully lead to the formation of a centre of development at SMK Bintulu.

"If we succeed, it will be the first centre of development in Bintulu where we will be identifying a coach to look after and train the potential boxers around here," he added.

A total of 43 students between the age of 13 and 17 took part in the four-day clinic. It was conducted by Stanley who was assisted by two officers from SSSC, facilitator Roslan Bujang and Miri/Bintulu sports assistant coordinator, Harifen Mansor.

(By Hamdan Ismail)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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