PETALING JAYA: Holloway Cheah has proven to be one of the most adaptable coaches during the movement control order (MCO).
Bowling took the biggest hit following all the restrictions but national chief coach Holloway did not let Covid-19 dampen the team spirit as he took up several additional roles to keep the national team together.
Since the MCO was enforced from March 18 last year, the national bowlers have not competed in any local or international tournaments. They were the longest to stay at home as the alley at the shopping mall was the first to close and last to open.
All of them had to train at home and Holloway kept in touch with them via online.
At the age of 78, it would have been a challenge to communicate with the bowlers through computer or smartphone screens but Holloway has become an expert now.
“I had to learn like anyone else to adapt and move forward. Online training was all new to me but I learnt how to use the technology to communicate with the bowlers, ” said Holloway.
“With all youngsters around you, you tend to learn faster. Now, I’m used to it.”
Holloway has also been playing a role as a psychologist to keep all the bowlers motivated.
“The hardest is to keep the bowlers in high spirits. The long season without tournaments has affected them. It’s a challenge to keep training when you don’t know what’s your next tournament, ” he said.
“I had to find ways to keep them excited during training. We organised internal roll-offs to keep them on their toes. We changed the training patterns so that they would not be bored.”
The challenging times have made the bowlers more hungry than before and that’s the positives that Holloway will take from the new norm. The team are preparing for the Vietnam SEA Games in December and the Asian Championships.
“They probably may not have any competitions before the SEA Games, so the task now is to keep them all charged up until they get into action, ” he said.
Those under his care are the men bowlers Adrian Ang, Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek, Rafiq Ismail, Timmy Tan, Ahmad Muaz Fishol, Tun Ameerul Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam, Hafiz Zainuddin, Shahrukh Amin Zulkifli, Syazirol Shamsudin and Nevern Netaneel Marcellinus and the women – Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Natasha Roslan, Nur Syazwani Sahar, Nerosha Keligit, Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal, Gillian Lim and Faten Najihah Ahmad Faik and Puteri Nurul Dini Mohd Faudz.