KUALA LUMPUR: A new structure, a five-year strategic plan, and the return of former internationals Tan Aik Mong and Razif Sidek.
These are some of the highlights from a comprehensive five-year plan unveiled by Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff on Saturday at the council meeting, which was endorsed by all his members – unanimously.
The 66-year-old Tengku Mahaleel said that he had trimmed the previous BAM’s elaborate structure to only two main groups - the Talent Management Group (TMG) and the Service Support Group (SSG).
He has done away with the executive committee (exco) and all seven sub-committees, including the all-powerful coaching and training committee (CNT).
The TMG director will be former international and coach Tan Aik Mong while the SSG will be headed by general manager Kenny Goh.
Aik Mong will be the supremo as far as coaching and training, development and tournament plans at all levels are concerned, while Kenny will ensure the administration and all support services are run professionally.
Both Aik Mong and Kenny will be monitored and managed by the steering committee headed by Tengku Mahaleel. Also on the steering committee is Ng Chin Chai, who has been retained as the association’s secretary.
Tengku Mahaleel is confident that the 63-year-old Aik Mong is the right man to manage TMG, which comes with the huge responsibility of managing the coaches and players and the authority to hire and fire.
Besides looking after the national team, Aik Mong is also expected to bring technology into coaching and training, set up an audio-visual analytical system, create centres like the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) in other parts of the country, revive club systems and improve the standard of coaches throughout the country.
“He has proven in Kelantan what he is capable of (Aik Mong was helping in the coaching and training there). He found two potential national champions who are seven years old. He is the ex-Malaysian coach and was among the country’s top three players in the 60s and 70s,” said Tengku Mahaleel, who is also the Kelantan BA president.
“He is the leader of the TMG and he is not a coach. He needs to only manage and make decisions. He will have the assessor group, consisting of six others, to help him. The members will be a blend of young and old.
“Lee Chong Wei is a member and Razif Sidek has also agreed and there is a possibility of Cheah Soon Kit joining. The council has just approved this plan and I am sure Aik Mong will get more members with credentials to help him. Some of the council members will also take charge of some of the activities under his care.”
Both Razif and Soon Kit are members of the 1992 winning Thomas Cup team while Chong Wei is currently the world No. 1 player and silver medallist in the Olympic Games and World Championships for two consecutive times.
He has come in on a voluntary basis but all his expenses as far as running the programme is concerned will be borne by BAM.
On Kenny’s role, Tengku Mahaleel said: “Aik Mong’s group will have some issues to deal with like facilities, discipline and finance and this is where Kenny’s group will come in to provide the support services.
“The steering committee will hold both Aik Mong and Kenny totally responsible. If their group fails, they will be chopped. It is how the corporate world does it. If they do well, their teams will be rewarded.
“In the past, we used to have too many leaders calling the shots but now, we have reduced it to only two. In the past, the development committee did not know what the competition committee wanted and vice versa. Now, they do not exist. We have de-layered all the units in BAM and we will not have people confused of their roles.”
The new structure
Members: Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff (BAM president), Datuk Norza Mohd Zakaria (deputy), Datuk Al-Amin Majid (deputy) Datuk Lim Teong Keat (treasurer), Ng Chin Chai (secretary) and three more council members to be appointed by the president.
Role: To oversee the Talent Management Group (TMG) and Service Support Group and attend their meetings.
Talent Management Group (TMG)
Director: Tan Aik Mong
1. Set up independent assessors (former internationals) to evaluate players and coaches (headed by Razif Sidek)
2. Set up a transparent BAM players’ ranking system
3. Develop unique training methods in Malaysia
4. Set up IT system to track the performances of players
5. Establish audio visuals and technology for match analysis to create thinking players
6. Upgrade coaches at all levels including MSSM, state and clubs (certification of coaches and attachment with BAM’s coaching teams for experience)
7. Work with National Sports Institute (NSI). Use sports science to develop career paths for all BAM players
8. Study with National Schools (MSSM) on regional training centres
9. Create competition at state level including clubs
10. Design competition to fit talent plans including inter-state, inter-school, veterans and exhibitions
11. Set up talent scouting system
12. Set up players advisory group
Service Support Group (SSG)
General manager: Kenny Goh
1. Finalise BAM Academy
2. Look into technical and rules
3. Set up a commercial unit (to improve earnings and branding)
9. Create a library (archive centre)
11. Administration and secretarial
12. Human resource
(Note: The two groups and the steering committee will meet once a month. The two groups will also present reports at the BAM council meetings, held four times a year.)