Speedy Tigers to set up shop at National Hockey Stadium

KUALA LUMPUR: If one wants to win medals in a tournament, there must be constant backing from Ringgit Malaysia, and that is why the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) has registered a business entity under the name of Speedy Tigers Sdn Bhd.

The Junior World Cup (JWC) on Dec 5-16 will roughly cost MHC RM3.5 million to organise, with the biggest slice of RM1.6m going to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in the name of hosting fee.

And then there is the New Zealand Tour on Dec 8-18 to prepare the senior squad for the Olympic Qualifier in January.

"Our women's squad also need money to prepare for their Olympic Qualifier and so it's a never-ending story of one tournament after another.

"We get lesser money from the government because they have many other sports to fund as well, and there are only so many sponsors that can help us.

"But to win medals, there must be a consistent flow of money into our coffers, so that we can pay our junior, senior as well as women's local and foreign coaches," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal on Thursday.

Tenaga Nasional has sponsored the JWC RM1 million, SpeedMart 99 RM1.2m and Orang Kampung (OK) chipped in with RM300,000 worth of cash and sponsorship in kind on Thursday.

The Malaysian juniors will be given their OK range of energy drinks, especially Long QI, as an energy booster during the JWC.

"The idea of registering Speedy Tigers as a business entity is to generate money for long term as we have many more tournaments coming up after the JWC. For a start, we will sell national jerseys, running as well as turf shoes at the ground floor of the National Hockey Stadium, and the shop will be called MHC Sports.

"Our shop will open even after the JWC as we plan to stock it with MHC mineral water, Orang Kampung products and later our own brand of hockey sticks.

"Right now, parents who are wage earners are investing up to RM1,600 to buy top brand hockey sticks and I feel that's a bit too high for the masses.

"So we will source for quality hockey sticks and other equipment makers to manufacture quality hockey sticks and sell them at, say RM500 at our MHC Sports shop.

"In this way, MHC can make some money as well as give the hockey-playing public a better deal," said Subahan.

The National Hockey Development Programme has about 5,500 boys and girls from ages 14 to 17, and they can buy from MHC Sports when hockey sticks are custom made by MHC.

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