Research vital in ensuring tournaments continue to unearth talents

If there was one committee within the BA of Malaysia (BAM) that does not regularly hog the spotlight – it would be the tournament committee.

Yet, tournaments play a key role in unearthing talents nationwide. Without tournaments, there would not be any stars.

One man who understands tournaments well is A’amar Hashim. The teacher, who teaches sports at SMK Syed Hassan in Kangar, Perlis, is also the Perlis BA president and BAM’s tournament committee chairman.

However, before becoming an administrator, A’amar had a feel of being a player with the national body’s academy in Kuala Lumpur, in the 90s.

“I was a product of BAM’s academy as I was with the national body between 1994 and 1997. Women’s doubles player Wong Pei Tty was part of my batch,” said A’amar, who has helmed the Perlis BA since 2017.

“Two years have been lost to Covid-19, but we are eager to play catch-up and hope for all tournaments to go full force next month.”

A’amar, who is pursuing his Masters at Universiti Putra Malaysia, said the committee spends a lot of time behind the scenes, researching and analysing past competitions, to bring out the best in the athletes.

“There’s a lot of work that takes place behind the scenes. Not many people know that. We have a task force that looks at every tournament. We carry out research and analyse the competitions, with the goal of improving on them.

“We look at the formats, the age categories, what works, and what doesn’t. There’s also research and development of the tournaments, and the development of a ranking system for the players. This is to ensure that when the next tournament is held, it is executed well and brings about the desired results.”

A’amar added that it was equally important to ensure that the state BAs were fully prepared to organise tournaments, as there were still some standard operating procedures in place despite Malaysia transitioning from the pandemic, to the endemic phase, on April 1.

“The goal is to see good, quality talents. All states must be involved, and their shuttlers should compete in all categories.

“We want to see the states organise tournaments in a systematic manner, too, with the latest SOPs in place, while ensuring that the SOPs do not, in any way, disrupt the quality of those tournaments.”

A’amar says the other committees will evaluate the quality of the athletes and technical officials.“It’s a team effort, really. All of us, the various committees, working together, to get things rolling.”

He highlighted that state BAs received grants from BAM to organise tournaments.

“In fact, BAM gave out grants late last year for state BAs to organise closed tournaments.”

The tournament committee, meanwhile, oversees several competitions, namely the Junior Elite Tour (Under-12, 14 and 16), the GP Finals for juniors, and the Under-18 and Under-21 circuits, nationwide.

“As a former player, I feel for those who missed out on the two years (due to the lockdowns). The players have all been waiting to compete, but some of them missed the cut due to their age. We hope to play catch-up by organising as many tournaments as possible.

“While BAM provides grants, the state sports councils also provide funding to ensure tournaments are held. This is where corporations can play a role. We also try to bring in companies to be a part of our tournaments.

“Tournaments play a key role in unearthing talents nationwide. Without tournaments, we won’t have players to represent the nation,” he added.

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