Malaysia moving forward - Nothing Is Impossible: 'Malaysia Boleh!'
Aug. 19, 2021 @ 0:00 UTC
In a guest post, Hj. Ahmad Sufiani Johari, President Interim of the Malaysia Touch Association, writes that the hosting of the 2019 FIT World Cup and the Association's long-term strategic planning is helping Touch in the southeast Asian country navigate COVID. The planning also has Malaysia on course to win a World Cup medal by 2031.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Malaysia. However, thanks to the momentum generated by hosting the 2019 FIT World Cup, along with the impact of proper policy, discipline and hard work, there is no reason we cannot keep moving our fantastic game ahead positively.
I’m also pleased to report that as President Interim of the Malaysia Touch Association (MTA), Touch in Malaysian isn’t falling behind. Moreover, participation in sport development activities hosted by the Federation of International Touch (FIT) played an essential role in achieving our 10-year plan, ‘MTA VISION 2031’.
For Malaysia to fully develop as a Touch Football Nation by 2031, a straightforward, structured approach and a robust long-term plan are the answers. In achieving our goals, we must go through four phases:
Phase 1: Building (2021-2023)
Phase 2: Growth (2024-2027)
Phase 3: Expand (2028-2029)
Phase 4: Sustained (2030-2031)
From March until August 2021, MTA has actively focused on touch football development, locally and internationally. These are seven major sport development activities within six months:
1. CHAT LIVE YOUTUBE CHANNEL & FIT FACEBOOK’ FIT SET OF 6’
MTA received an invitation from Mr. Peter Topp, FIT Sport Development Director, to join the FIT Set of 6, Live Chat on FIT’s Youtube channel and Facebook page on 4 March 2021. The event hosted by Mr. Adam Collins and MTA was represented by myself and Mr. Amir Afiffuddin. We reported on many success stories from the recent Touch World Cup 2019 Malaysia, current touch football developments in Malaysia and our future development plan, MTA 10-year plan (2021-2031). The event was broadcasted worldwide.
2. FIT LEVEL 1 / BEGINNER’S LEVEL ONLINE REFEREE COURSE
MTA received an invitation from Ms. Bianca Arco, FIT Member Relation Asia, to join the course on 21 March 2021. FIT Referees Commission Chairman Mr. Ian Matthew, along with Referees Commission Member Chris Dolahenty, facilitated the largest FIT training course in history. The course attracted 230 budding whistleblowers from 12 Asian National Touch Organisation (NTO), with Malaysia having the largest cohort of 100 new referees. The NTO who attended this training included Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Philippines, Qatar, Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, UAE and India. The workshop was an outstanding success!
3. PRESENTATION OF MTA 10-YEAR PLAN’ MTA VISION 2031’ TO FIT MEMBER RELATIONS COMMISSION ASIA.
We presented MTA Vision 2031 to Ms. Bianca Arco, FIT Member Relation Commission Asia, in Manila via Google meet on 23 March 2021. Among the issues discussed were upgrading FIT Level One referees to FIT Level 2 Referees, Coach accreditation and other related matters. Apart from Ms. Bianca Arco and myself, Amir Affifuddin, Al Jeffery Iszeham and Samsul Norazim Samsudin also attended this meeting.
4. MTA COACHING WORKSHOP ON BASIC INTRODUCTION TO TOUCH FOOTBALL IN MALAYSIA
Mr. Al Jeffery Iszeham, MTA Coaching Commission Chairman, organised an online coaching workshop on 11 April 2021 for 27 participants from our State Touch Associations (STA), including Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, and Sarawak. The course was presented by Mr. Amir Affiffuddin and Mr. Al Jeffery Iszeham, and the feedback was very positive.
5. MTA VISIT TO NATIONAL SPORTS INSTITUTE (ISN) KUALA LUMPUR SPORTS CITY, BUKIT JALIL
Mr. Mohd Ehsan Manan, MTA Sports Science Chairman, with support from Dr. Jasmiza Khuzairi, organised a full visit to ISN to initiate a collaboration between MTA and ISN. The visit was held on 15 April 2021. The visit aimed to enhance the level of competency in sport science to help prepare our teams for the 1st Asia Touch Cup, Shanghai China, 4th Youth Touch World Cup 2023 Manchester, England, and 10th Touch World Cup 2023 TBN. Representatives from MTA included Tuan Haji Ahmad Sufiani Johari, Mohd Ehsan Manan and Iqmarl Hadi Kamal.
6. FIT 5TH EDITION PLAYING RULES DISCUSSION.
Six MTA Referee Representatives attended FIT’s 5th Edition Playing Rules Discussion organised by Ms. Bianca Arco, FIT Member Relation Asia and presented by FIT Referees Commission Chairman Mr. Ian Matthew on 26 June 2021 via Zoom meeting. MTA Representatives included myself, Amir Affifuddin Amir Shariffuddin, Samsul Norazim Samsuddin, Iqmarl Hadi Kamal, Zaid Al Hayyi and Jennab Zulkifly. MTA is now officially following the latest laws and regulations outlined by the latest edition of the playing rules.
7. FIT LEVEL 2 / INTERMEDIATE LEVEL ONLINE COURSE.
FIT facilitated the first online version of the FIT Level 2 / Intermediate Referees Online Course Asia via Zoom meeting on 15 August 2021. This Level 2 Referee Online Course piloted by Mr. Ian Matthew (Chairman) and Mr. Chris Dolahenty - FIT Referee Commission was conducted in a small group before it is communicated to a wider global audience. Once again, we’d like to thank Ms. Bianca Arco for inviting two of our MTA Referee representatives, Samsul Norazim Samsudin and Iqmarl Hadi Kamal, to join the Group, which also included Singapore, China, Hong Kong, UAE, Qatar and Europe.
The Online learning model introduced by FIT due to COVID-19 enabled training to continue. For MTA, this is the best model ever produced since 2020.
The Malaysia Touch Association (MTA) 10-Year Plan is highly dependent on referees supporting State Touch Association events and programs. As the number of clubs and participants is increasing day by day in Malaysia, STAs need to have a standardised process of developing, delivering, and promoting Touch with dedicated referees in the Malaysia Touch Development Region (MTDR): North, South, East, West and Borneo.
Finally, our experiences in hosting the last World Cup have shown us the need for a forward-thinking plan to ensure Malaysia is a fully developed Touch nation and capable of winning a World Cup medal by 2031.