THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) have come up with a new structural revamp following mounting criticisms from the media and badminton enthusiasts over the lack of success by national shuttlers.
The national body’s Coaching and Training (C&T) Committee rolled out their latest proposal — Project 24 — yesterday aimed at ending Malaysia’s wait for the elusive badminton gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Basically, Project 24 aims to embrace unconventional methods and out-of-the-box thinking to fast-track certain young players and ship out under-performing seniors, who have been given until Dec 31 to prove their worth.
Newly-appointed secretary general Datuk Kenny Goh, who is also C&T chairman, presented the plan after chairing his first meeting at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.
Under Project 24, coaches are separated into three main groups — men’s, women’s and mixed squads.
There is also emphasis on team events, namely the Thomas and Uber Cups, Sudirman Cup and multi-sport championships.
All three head coaches — Misbun Sidek (men), Tey Seu Bock (women) and Chin Ee Hui (mixed) — will report directly to coaching director Wong Choong Hann, who is also the guardian of Project 24 and head of coordination.
“We know the pressure and expectations from the outside are very high. Everybody is calling for a change,” said Kenny, who was Badminton Asia chief operations officer the last four years.
“We have discussed and, after much deliberation, come up with Project 24, a structure that we will propose to the council for approval.
“We want the coaches and C&T Committee to have a smart and strategic plan. They need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, so that when we review the players and our plans, we’ll review smartly.
“The revamp is not only structural, but also to create a culture of excellence and a new way of thinking.
“We want everyone to embrace this new culture and be proud of representing the country. Maybe we will send our players for some PASKAL (Naval Special Forces) training to really instill this (mindset).”
Kenny also explained that the C&T Committe will not be a hindrance to the plan, but play a supporting role to Choong Hann.
“As I firmly mentioned to the coaches earlier, the boardroom meeting is over. We have to start working now to ensure success and bring glory back to badminton,” Kenny said.
BAM have come under fire following the national squad’s dismal performance at the recent World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
To make things worse, former world No 1 Lee Chong Wei’s retirement only exposed the stark reality of the sad state of Malaysian badminton.
On Sept 2, Timesport called for a total revamp if BAM wanted to produce world-beaters.
The report added that in order to achieve that, the national body must move on from their archaic ways in terms of management and rigid structures.
Meanwhile, Kenny also confirmed yesterday that former Penang BA secretary Tony Tan, Kuala Lumpur BA honorary secretary Seluarize Rajoo and former Berita Harian sports editor Norbakti Alias have been roped in to provide an “outside perspective” to the C&T Committee.