It has been 29 years since I began my involvement in sports as a journalist. I often wonder how I went through all those years in a field that do not seem to concerned about chasing the rest of the world. People have asked me why I stuck to this field for so long. Good question.
I too have asked myself the same question: Why did I choose to remain as a sports journalist, writing about a field has many strange people in it? Why would anyone one want to write or be associated with a field that has more people in it who are there for themselves?
I believe the answer is because there were some good people, who became good friends and that made me continue in a field that is headed no where - unless the powers that be suddenly realizes this and make some astounding decisions, like making sure that the right people, people who are passionate for sports run associations and agencies.
As I look back I realize the importance of having good friends, friends who were there to make the difference for you. I really appreciate these friends, some of whom have passed on.
Many names come to mind. I remember my friend Karim Yahya for one, a friend who was always ready to take a stand and stand with you. On many occasion this man had encouraged me on many matters. He used to be in charge of the NSC gymnasium at the Raja Muda Stadium.
Another good friend was the late Fadzil Othman, a man who was passionate about sports and was involved in cycling, lawn tennis and later on at the OCM. This guy does thing quietly and does not want any credit for it - something that we hardly can find in sports these days.
I remember of an incident where I had a little problem at work place and he came to know of it. The matter was solved and later I found out that these good friend of mine had spoken to the my big boss and had the matter settled.
Daud Kassim was another great friend. He was always willing to help and always made sure the facts he gave were accurate. He would go out of way, including getting confirmations from abroad, just to make sure we (journalists) write accurate reports.
He was passionate about cycling and was very disappointed to see the way the sport was being run. Daud was a man who would never desert his friends, always there if you needed him.
Datuk Mazlan Ahmad has been good friend since I met him the first week he reported for duty at NSC after completing his studies in the US. Mazlan was truthful and straight forward and journalists like dealing with him because you can feel the sincerity in him.
Datuk Mazlan was not interested in creating a name for himself or getting into anybody's good books. He wanted to develop sports. To some extend during his tenure as DG of NSC, a lot of development took place. Till today Datuk Mazlan is a great friend and I appreciate his friendship.
Datuk Seri Paul Mony Samuel has been a friend since I met him when he came to FAM as an administrative assistant when Datuk Paul Murugasu was Honorary Secretary. He showed the discipline and seriousness which impressed many.
Like all my good friends, Datuk Paul has always been a great blessing for me. When I left the newspaper, Datuk Paul was among the friends who gave encouragement.
I appreciate friends like Windsor John Paul, who is an excellent football administrator and a great friend.
Friends like Dato Sieh Kuo Chi also gave hope to sports. He has always been passionate about sports and have a good technical knowledge about sports that would definitely be an asset to sports development.
There were others along the way. They were good sports people, who became good friends.
But, sports don't seem to be going anywhere. There are still to many people in sports who are in here for themselves, thus destroying all hopes of seeing changes taking place.
Sports still elect leaders who have no time for them. Leaders who needed sports for their own agenda.
Will anything change? The only hope is to hope for some strong personalities who would train hard and become champions, people like Nicol Ann David.