Bruce Lee, was the legendary kung fu actor and my first impression of this article in the name of the legend was a "knock out". Why?
A simple idea with brilliance in thoughts and practical in implementation. Bruce Lee must be commended for forwarding this idea and i hope the President of MHF would look at it very seriously. In fact if MHF wants to contact Bruce Lee to pursue his ideas, the least i can do is to give MHF his e-mail contact.
The "peribahasa" (maxim) i remembered from my younger days is "Di mana ada gula, di sana ada semut" (where there is sugar, there is ants). Bruce's analogy makes the "stadium" the "sugar" ie the focal point & center of attraction, while the people become the "ants". A great marketing philosophy in order to set up grass root development in hockey. Well done Bruce.
Kindly read Bruce Lee's article and give it a serious thought. He indeed has got a very interesting outlook to uplift Malaysian hockey. Mind you it is quite unique.
Below is the text of Bruce Lee's article:
Have you noticed that many of our hockey stadiums are owned by the local councils? (KL, Ipoh, Kuantan, JB, Melaka, Manjung and the list goes on) Many of them are idle, void of hockey activities and slowly turning into white elephants (I know one that become a futsal center)
In the wake of calls to improve our grassroots structure, I’m suggesting the local councils to play their part by forming hockey clubs with paying members.
Imagine this example:
Kelab Hoki Majlis Perbandaran –XX (MP-XX)
Members: 500 people
Teams: 4 Men’s (A, B, C, D) 2 Women’s (A & B) 6 Juniors (U21, U19, U16 A& B), 6 Minis (U10, U9 & U8), 4 Veterans and 1 Mixed
Venue/Clubhouse : MP-XX Hockey Stadium
Activities: Weekdays/nights Trainings, Weekends Matches, Annual Tours, League participation
Fees: RM 500.00 annually for juniors, RM700.00 for seniors.
Starter packs include training shirts, shorts and socks.
Why the paying members?Simple. The club system is the basic grassroots throughout Europe and the key to their consistency in providing competitive club and national teams despite their generally low hockey population. With fees, many of the related administrative expenses are covered and should meet the basic requirement of daily club operations.
Currently we do have city councils like MPPJ, MBMB and MBI participating in our national league. But then, these teams concentrate mainly on competitions. Frankly, there was not much impact the city had on its hockey development. Hockey is not enjoyed at social and recreational level. Only the selected players, officials and coaches who actually reaped the benefit of getting into team selection.
By opening membership to the public, people with interest will come and join. Hockey can be enjoyed at all level from social and recreational up until competitive level which is healthy to the society. Why the local councils?Through the existing facilities, why not utilize further to serve its community?
When state leagues are almost nonexistent throughout the nation, this is the best way a local hockey stadium can benefit the local community. Who are the major target?
1. School kids. Especially so when their school coaching is poor and their season is at most a month, kids can turn to clubs for more exposure to hockey.
2. School leavers. We lost so many talents or rough diamonds at this stage. A club establishment can help develop these talents and can even benefit late bloomers. This is also important for our female players. So many of them quit after school.
3. Current or past hockey players. For those who move to new places for work or studies, a local club will continue their interest. Players dropped from the National Team may use their clubs as the platform to regain selection.
4. Hockey coaches and umpires. So many certified officials around and this is a perfect place for them to continue and contribute their knowledge to the club.
5. Parents. Continuous involvement with kids hockey activities may attract their involvement to the game as well. Greater parent and children relationship can be fostered as well as volunteerism spirit within the club.
What are the value-added benefits?
1. Creation of jobs (part/full time) for coaches and administrators.
2. Structured training on scheduled basis. Building more discipline to the members.
3. Volunteerism by parents will develop a healthy sporting lifestyle to the society
4. Continuous hockey activities allow for greater access for business opportunities (a win-win situation for sponsorship avenue) Hockey retailers could open their business strategically at the club. Even caterers could open their business at the stadium as well!
Once these foundations are firmly laid, then the clubs may want to venture further into Junior or National League hockey (or at least state leagues if there is one). They can employ top players into their roster and in return, the players must coach the junior members of the club. Another win-win situation that creates more energy and excitement to the existing establishment. League matches will be continually supported and a healthy hockey environment is created.
It’s a small start to develop such sporting culture in Malaysia. But why not giving it a try? The Europeans have been practicing such environment with proven success and why it cannot be done in Malaysia? (They even have smaller hockey population than us)
The local councils have already the facilities in place and it’s a shame if it cannot be utilized to its true potential. Should the practice becomes a norm in our hockey stadiums, I believe other city councils will follow suit and build their very own hockey stadiums and establish their clubs. Potential councils could be Taiping, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Putrajaya or Selayang. With the objective of bringing hockey reachable and enjoyable to the society and using club establishment as the mean, it makes more sense to build one now.