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Wednesday February 8, 2006
By TAN SIN CHOW
NEWLY appointed Penang Amateur Swimming Association (PASA) head coach Jack Simon has only one immediate goal in his new assignment – to restore the state's reputation as the swimming powerhouse in the country.
“My immediate challenge is to churn out as many stars as possible and bring glory to the state.
“But this could only be done if all the relevant parties, especially the swimmers and parents, put up concerted efforts to achieve the desired results,” said the 67-year-old American during the PASA Annual Awards Presentation 2006 at Cititel Hotel recently.
The vastly experienced coach was appointed under the ‘High Performance Core Sport Pro-gramme’.
Prior to his appointment in Penang, Simon had just ended a five-year-stint in Chivas, Mexico.
He had coached six national teams and served as a swimming clinician in more than 20 countries, besides being part of the United States national coaching staff for over 20 years.
For his new role, Simon will monitor and coordinate the coaching and swimming training programmes at the eight training centres throughout Penang.
He will conduct swimming camps for the state swimmers in preparation for national and international assignments, besides helping the local coaches to im-prove on their coaching standards.
Having come across so many top swimmers in the world, Simon said all of them had one thing in common – they never missed a single training session.
“What I want to point out here is that every swimmer must be committed and serious whenever it comes to attending training sessions.
“They should give full commitment during training sessions, knowing that no matter how talented one is, there will be no shortcuts in order to reach the top,” he said.
He added that those who always skip practice and slack in training never go far.
Another key element for success, said Simon, was the willingness to learn and take advice from the coaches.
His appointment was described as a durian runtuh (windfall) by PASA president-cum-state executive councillor Teng Chang Yeow.
“Simon's coaching experience and knowledge accumulated over the years will certainly benefit the swimmers,” he said.
PASA secretary Soh Yew Siang said they were grateful to the Penang Sports Council and Ama-teur Swimming Union of Malaysia for their support in recruiting Simon as the state's head coach.
“We are looking forward to a successful swimming programme with Simon's input and guidance,” said Yew Siang.
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