Staying sharp in pandemic


Football players training at Sony Complex in Seberang Jaya a few years ago. Currently, about 700 state athletes are training at home. — Filepic

NO lockdown is going to stop Penang state golfer Brenden Tang Yew Liang from improving his skills.

The 18-year-old built a driving range at home to perfect his swings and hand-eye coordination.

“I used to practise three to four times weekly at golf courses such as the 36-hole Bukit Jawi Golf Resort and 18-hole Penang Golf Club in Bukit Jambul before the lockdown.

“To keep practising at home, I constructed a driving range out of PVC pipes at the porch and laid green artificial turf on the ground.

“A net with a target is placed at the back of the structure to stop the ball, ” he said.

Besides using the homemade driving range an hour a day, Brenden works out at his mini gym at home.

“I bench press, lift dumbbells and strengthen my legs by doing knee extensions, climbs and squats.

“However, gym workouts are only done twice weekly, as advised by my coach.

“I do tabata workouts on a daily basis.

“Twice monthly, I take online mental coaching sessions for guidance on keeping a healthy mind, ” he said.

Penang Football Club general manager Jeffrey Chew said all its 27 players were training at home under supervision.

“Their last game ended two weeks ago.

“They are now keeping fit at home in accordance with the standard operating procedures.

“Their workout data is monitored via mobile apps by coach Tomas Trucha, ” he said.

Chew said the team had earlier planned a training camp this month but it was postponed due to the lockdown.

“The camp was supposed to house all players together for 10 days so they could train without external contact.

“They’ve all undergone Covid-19 screening.

“Now, we are not sure when the next season can start.

“We hope to restart in July and the date will be decided right after the lockdown is lifted, ” he said.

Penang youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee said about 700 state athletes were working out at home while official training grounds remained closed during the lockdown.

“Training goes on despite the lockdown and coaches report on the progress of the players every week.

“Some athletes share their workout sessions on social media to engage with their fans and inspire more people to exercise even while staying home.”

While sports facilities such as the state stadium in Batu Kawan and Sony Complex in Seberang Jaya are closed, their upkeep goes on as usual.

“We have contractors who maintain the facilities, ” said Soon.

“The upkeep of the stadium in Batu Kawan costs RM15, 648 monthly for cleaning and RM5, 000 monthly for landscaping.

“As for Sony Complex, the cleaning costs RM14, 625 monthly while landscaping costs RM4, 400 monthly.”

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