Hockey: Time to revamp the Raja Ashman Academy

A week has passed since I highlighted the AHF Raja Ashman Academy in Ipoh.

Not a whimper from those directly involved with the Academy.

The AHF made it clear that they are doing their part in the promotion of the Academy in Asia by running courses and seminars in the name of the Academy.

And the funding is either from AHF itself or sourced from FIH or the Olympic Solidarity funding.

This is due to the fact that the two leading figures in AHF, it’s President Dato Fumio Ogura and Chief Executive Officer Dato Tayab Ikram had the utmost respect for HRH Sultan Azlan Shah and Raja Ashman.

AHF has the knowledge and expertise to make sure the name of the Raja Ashman Academy is well known throughout Asia and the world.

And towards this, it is learnt that for this year’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, a total of 7 courses are being planned.

Which now leads to the question of the entire administration of the Raja Ashman Academy.

Firstly the Academy should and has no legal standing in organising the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Rightfully there is a Yayasan Sultan Azlan, and they ought to take charge of the organisational aspects of the tournament which is now into its 29th year.

The Yayasan comprises of those who are handpicked by the Royal Household and will be people of some standing in society.

With the Yayasan taking the tournament and Academy under its wings, we can expect transparency and good governance , something that HRH was respected for during his lifetime.

The Academy or the tournament should not be be associated directly with those holding positions in Perak Hockey Association.

Look at the current situation.

Perak HA are due to hold their AGM and in the process elect their office bearers.

But certain individuals are using the Azlan Shah Cup to defer the AGM, citing a change in office bearers could result in the tournament bring affected.

This is totally wrong as those saying this are merely protecting their seats.

The Azlan Shah Cup has been held for the part 28 editions without a glitch, be it in Ipoh, Penang or KL.

So equating the tournament to the Perak HA elections is merely a ploy to stay in power and enjoy the perks that come with it.

Elections and the tournament are two different equations,let that be clear,

Back to the Academy, it could inspire the froth and development of the sport that both Sultan Azlan and Raja Ashman much loved.

And it could prove to be the inspiration needed to help save hockey in the country if properly administrated.

We have so many talented officials in this country that could help the Academy towards a more meaningful existence, especially with the support of the Perak State Government as well as the Perak Palace.

Perhaps a Panel discussion is in order. And we await an audience with HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah.