Holloway Cheah (second from left) is set to continue his stint as national coach for another two years.
Holloway Cheah (second from left) is set to continue his stint as national coach for another two years.

LONG-serving bowling maestro Holloway Cheah has pledged to continue coaching the national team, but hinted that this could well be his last term.

The 71-year-old is set to extend his current term which expires on March 31 this year, for another two years.

“I’m still healthy and am not thinking about quitting just yet,” said Holloway, who was appointed as head coach when he replaced Canadian Sid Allen in 2000.

“In fact, my mind is now all about preparing my bowlers for the Incheon Asian Games.

“But at the end of the day, I can’t be working forever. There will be a time when I will call it a day.

“By then, even if my services is needed, I will decline for sure.”

While health concerns and age will not be Holloway’s reason to ultimately retire, he admitted that pressure is one major factor.

It was the reason that led to his earlier resignation after the 2003 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

“We had a very strong women’s team led by Shalin (Zulkifli) and Sarah Yap, so hopes were high on them to deliver,” said Holloway, whose daughter Esther is now a key member of his squad.

“But it was not until the last day that the gold medal was won through team event!

“Then I told myself, I had enough. I can’t take it anymore, so I quit.”

But Holloway, who was awarded the Best National Coach in 2004, was destined to return when he took over the team from predecessor Chris Batson following a controversy.

He picked up where he left off, guiding our bowlers to  the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games, the 2007 World Women Championship and notably Muhammad Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek’s feat as our country’s first ever QubicaAMF World Cup winner in 2012.

Holloway is certainly an exemplary world class coach, who more importantly is a Malaysian.

His services are sought by several teams including from a neighbouring country.

Asked if he is considering a move abroad, he declared, “No way, not at my age. It’s true I had several offers, but I didn’t consider any of them.”


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