Sunday January 13, 2013
Restore fairplay and justice in badminton
By RAJES PAUL
IF YOUR badminton skills are good, you can go far in the sport. If they aren’t so good, well, it helps if you know someone high up.
Take the case of the recent Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS)-Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) selection trial.
Three ambitious state shuttlers – Kelvin Ng, Wong Wai Jun and Mohd Datu – came to Kuala Lumpur for the selection trial – with a lot of excitement and high hopes.
All they wanted was to be considered for the Form Four class intake and the chance to play badminton as there were several spots available.
It was a fair trial. They had all the skills but, unfortunately, there were others better than them. The trio did not make the cut. And, naturally, they were sad.
But what was shocking was that a player who finished below them – in last place, in fact – has been given a place in the school.
Now, how about that. Well, nothing really surprises one in Malaysia Boleh-land anymore, right?
So, how did the boy get in? And who allowed it to happen?
Was it the fault of BJSS?
Not in this case. To be fair, BJSS did everything by the book. In fact, they did an excellent job in partnership with BAM to select the best players for their Form One intake this year – all on merit.
Was it BAM’s fault then?
Apparently, the BAM too are equally innocent.
Well, that leaves us with not much of a choice, does it?
Who can be more influential than the coaches and officials from BJSS and BAM?
Was it someone from the Youth and Sports Ministry or the Education Ministry, then?
Or did the boy’s parents have some connection higher up?
How many times have we repeatedly told aspiring youngsters that there is no shortcut to success.
But this one boy has managed to get into the BJSS thinking that shortcut exists – and it works. He’ll probably grow up thinking that abuse of power, money and influence can sway decisions your way.
What a wrong way to educate a child. Poor thing!
Badminton is not the only sport suffering from this malaise we Malaysians like to call “pulling cable”.
Football, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, netball and, well, just about any other sport for that matter face the same problem.
So what can we do to restore fairplay and justice in sport?
Education is one way.
Standing up for one right’s is another.
Or, we can also hope and pray that the people in power will have the conscience to do the right thing.
As for Kelvin, Wai Jun and Datu – my message to them is:
“Keep your chin up, boys. Be proud that you’ve tried and failed. Don’t give up and continue to harness your skills.
“Be glad that your parents did not ‘force’ the school to take you in.
“Even if you do not make it as a successful badminton player, it’s all right. You are already a success – as a person – for doing the right thing. That’ll stand you in good stead in life.”