KLHA marches into mess

Kuala Lumpur International Youth Marching Band Competition 2017

The Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) has dribbled itself into a complete mess.

And it seems the lack of coordination among KLHA members has resulted in two training programmes being cancelled to make way for a marching band competition at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Pantai.

KLHA development committee chairman I. Vikneswaran was baffled why the association allowed the stadium to host the Kuala Lumpur International Youth Marching Band Competition 2018 despite knowing that every weekend they have a programme that started last August.

The stadium has been booked for the competition starting today till Saturday.

“We had a council meeting last week and I reminded the secretary and other members about our programme. No one said anything,” Vikneswaran said.

“I later sent a WhatsApp message to reconfirm our training programme. Yesterday, I was informed that we cannot use the turf because the Kuala Lumpur team will be training for the Malaysia Games (Sukma).

“And then I found out that the Kuala Lumpur team will not be training there as well because the stadium has been booked by the organisers of the marching band competition.”

Vikneswaran vented his frustration on Facebook yesterday.

Vikneswaran said he was aware the stadium had hosted marching band competitions in the past.

“That’s what I don’t understand. It’s a hockey stadium, not a multi-purpose venue. Rightfully, only hockey-related matters should be held there.”

KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam brushed aside the episode, calling it a “non-issue”.

“City Hall told us about the marching band competition two weeks ago and we got the letter from them after our council meeting. When Vikneswaran told me about his programme, I said ‘let’s see first’,” said Rajamanickam.

Rajamanickam explained KLHA manages the stadium on behalf of City Hall but the local council, being owner of the stadium, has “every right to rent out the venue”.

Asked why there was no coordination between City Hall and KLHA regarding the use of the venue, he replied:

“They are the owners, we are merely managing the stadium for them. If they want to use the stadium, who are we to say no?”

“The stadium has hosted the marching band competition for the past five years. It does not disrupt anything and does not damage the turf as the competitors wear rubber shoes.

“I don’t understand why this is an issue. I will bring this matter up with the council,” he added.