Sunday, February 14, 2010

MHL - my two cents

Its never an easy task doing what they in MHL is doing. not many months ago I walked along similar lines trying to do the same. Its never an easy mountain to climb, getting teams, publicity, press releases its a thankless job to the finish line. As I sat in the usual corner watching some of the matches I notice two things

1. People trying to work and make something happen
2. People trying to find fault with every single attempt

Congratulations are in order to the team that ran MHL. They dare to break out of the mold and try new things, new directions in the face of challenges and criticism and the possibility of mistakes that may happen. Its a huge.. HUGE step form the same old dour year to year league.

Public perception of the sport, of the league are not going to change in one season, but it lifted it up a notch. The national team being where they are aint gonna be helpful. Every sport popularity depends on the success of the national team. We do not have to look any futher then national soccer team is a prime example, what they U23 team did galvanized the sport over the short term. Suddenly everyone is talking about it.

When is the last time we saw hockey... local hockey on Astro. When was the last time you saw hockey in your home town (if you are outside of KL) ? Along side this "out of kl" roadshow there was a lot of side line activities for development. Yes, TNB was a catalyst to this.

For the teams, as I read the morning paper there were accolades and brickbats but a few comments stood out. Tenaga coach Manjit Singh attributed their success to the way “we take care of our players’ welfare”. A crucial statement that is sorely lacking in hockey these days. Teams like Maybank, Tenaga and others likes them part of the CSR and love for the game have continues year in and year out to build on this. Other corporate organization , like Pos Malaysia, PKNS, Petronas and other large organization must be encouraged along the same lines.

State affiliates have also contributed to the decline ofthe National League. The failure to have a simple league. May be the MHF should look at arm twisting, encouraging, demanding what ever the lingo maybe for state to have a league. Of course money is always the issue, but it does not mean we stop playing, the affiliates do not realize the domino effect they are apart of that has lead to the decline of the hockey in this country.

While there are complaints and cries and all what not I have yet to see a state come up to the plate and say, HELP US. All it takes is for each state to run a league, complete one, then move on to the next and the next over the long term over a synchronized calendar both locally and nationals you have success knocking on your door. Soon these teams will graduate to the bigger playing platform.

When people do not play, when there is no playing opportunity we will fail and trust me we are not far from that.

To the MHL Team, this is you moment in the sun, bask in its glory, but please have a book called lesson learned so you can write in them and move forward.

Well done

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