Absence makes Thumm's coaching plans flounder

IN the case of German sports expert Hans-Peter Thumm, who is back in Malaysia for the third time, absence has not made the heart grow fonder as far as his programmes are concerned.  

Instead, it has made Thumm's coaching plans flounder. 

Back after a seven-year absence, he has found out that the Level One coaching programme that he did with the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) and the National Sports Council (NSC) previously and the talent identification model that he did for the NSC with budding athletes in Sabah and Penang in 1997 have not been followed up. 

Thumm developed the NSC-MAAU Level One coaching programme during his stint here from 1989 to 1990 under the sports specific section of the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme. 

Hanapiah Nasir was one of the lecturers for the fifth course of the NSC-MAAU Level One coaching programme in Kota Baru.

“The Level One programme, which was approved by the National Coaching Board and the MAAU, had produced 120 coaches in one year as a result of four separate courses conducted.  

“In addition, experienced local coaches took charge and lectured in the fifth course held in Kota Baru. National chief coach Hanapiah Nasir was one of the lecturers then. 

”The 16-day course focused on seven events (sprints, relay, low hurdles, middle distances, shot put, high jump and long jump). At least two days were allocated for each event. 

“Participants had to go through a tough theoretical and practical evaluation and a closed book examination. The coaches had to know their stuff at their fingertips.”  

The comprehensive Malaysian syllabus was supposed to be used an example for the rest of the world to follow.  

“However, the MAAU adopted the broader IAAF-programme in 1993 without realising that they had chucked a quality programme down the drain.  

“Now, after 12 years, what they have done is reflected by the low number of quality athletes in the country.” 

Thumm maintained that the MAAU should have stuck to the NSC-MAAU Level One coaching programme that had a quality syllabus. 

“Common sense will tell you that no coach in the world is able to develop a good athlete after receiving just only three hours of knowledge for each event. 

“Today, the IAAF have produced about 10,000 IAAF Level One coaches around the world. But only a maximum of 35-40 % of them are contributing to athletics especially in less developed countries where equipment are lacking.  

“So far, many coaches have not been given a chance to attend the IAAF Level Two programme, which was promised when the system began. The IAAF Level Three programme has not been created. 

“If the MAAU had stuck to the programme that we had created with the NSC, Malaysian coaches would have reached Level Three by today.” 

In his latest return to Malaysia, Thumm, who is still serving the National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany, will work as a consultant to assist the NSC in talent identification and multi-lateral training.  

”I am here to help Malaysian sports by contributing my experience in high performance and physical education development,” he added.  

“At the moment, there seems to be some confusion surrounding the talent identification programmes. This matter has to be treated with care as the future of sport of the entire nation is at stake.  

“One of the reasons I am here is because Germany has a long relationship with Malaysia especially in athletics. 

”Malaysian athletes like Marina Chin, Ishtiaq Mobarak, Gladys Chai and others have trained with us. A number of coaches have graduated from our athletics programme in Mainz.  

”Former jumper Zaki Sadri, hurdler Nur Herman Majid, high jumper Loo Kum Zee and sprinter G. Shanti have trained and competed in our country. Currently, Malaysia's best women's 400m hurdler Noraseela Khalid is training in Leipzig.” 

Thumm said he would submit a detailed report of his findings to the Youth and Sports Ministry, Education Ministry and the NSC.  

The report will give details and evidence regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the existing programmes.  

”After the authorities get this 'first-hand information’, they can then decide on the course of action to take. 

“In the future, it is my sincere wish that Malaysia would become less dependent on foreign assistance.  

“While Malaysia has made great strides in all the other sectors, including industry, trade, infrastructure, banking, tourism and healthcare, the development of sports in this country is still lacking behind,” he added. 



Age: 59  

Hometown: Stuttgart, Germany 

Occupation: Sports consultant Qualifications: Diploma Coach/Masters in Physical Education (German High School of Sports, Cologne) 


- International Handball Federation (IHF) teaching staff 

- IAAF lecturer 

- German national athletic coach (1984-1988) 

- 25 short-term (three to six weeks) projects (coaching courses, seminars, coaching clinics, evaluation, prepare top athletes for major Games and consultations) in 25 countries around Africa, Asia and South America. 

- 5 long-term (two to five years) projects to implement coaching structures, set up sports institutes, talent identification system and competition structures. 

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