Was BAM harsh in its decision to drop shuttlers?
"Can we hold the management, coaches and (BA of Malaysia) council members responsible for the January failure too? Why only the players have to take the blame?
To be fair, the BAM did say that the move would serve as a stern reminder to all others, especially the juniors that they do not tolerate mediocrity in the team."
Those were the words of The Star's Rajes Paul.
The long-time badminton journalist has made some interesting observations regarding the dumping of five shuttlers - Soniia Cheah, Vivian Hoo, Goh Soon Huat, Shevon Lai Jemie and Lai Pei Jing - from the national stable. Click on the link for the full article.
To me, the decision serves as a timely reminder to all athletes.
Having the opportunity to interact with athletes, I've realised one thing - many of them fail to plan for their immediate future. Some believe they will be athletes 'forever'. There are those who have left the scene and are still struggling to decide what to do in life.
Some of them even overlook the simple things like EPF contributions, signing up for insurance and declaring their income.
Getting injured and being dropped from the national squad are the realities of life. Past results do not matter. It's the same with any job really, you perform you climb the ladder. You slack and you get sacked.
While the timing of axing the shuttlers will be subjected to debate, one thing we can all agree is that athletes need to always have a Plan B.
Also, I'm sure we can agree that being a professional is all about raising your own money, paying for your training and enjoying every single ringgit and sen that may eventually come as a result of your hard work. Don't expect handouts.
If you expect handouts, then you will have to honour your contractual obligation with your funders. If the contractual obligation is unclear, the onus is on you to make it clear.
I wish to see the day where sports associations and the government agencies go crawling to our elite athletes instead of the other way around.
That side, only the best should represent Malaysia - regardless if the athlete is within or outside the national stable.
I hope the five who were axed will not be disheartened and go on to prove their critics wrong.