Selangor HA hopes new Petaling Jaya mayor will revitalise PJ Hockey Stadium

Selangor HA hopes new Petaling Jaya mayor will revitalise PJ Hockey Stadium
"Selangor HA hopes new Petaling Jaya mayor will revitalise PJ Hockey Stadium"

The Petaling Jaya Hockey Stadium, completed in 1995, has become a white elephant, with no hockey games held there for the past three years.

Selangor Hockey Association (SHA) president, S. Ganesh, said he and his team requested the authorities to upgrade the venue, but to no avail. Ganesh, a member of the state’s sports council management board, had also raised the matter several times during the council’s meetings, and even wrote to Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, requesting for help.

“The PJ Stadium is under the purview of the Petaling Jaya City Council. We tried engaging with them, but nothing happened,” said Ganesh.

“The city has a new mayor (Mohamad Zahri Samingon). We hope he can help us as the venue is going to waste. It is in a prime location, easy to get to, and would benefit hockey players in the state, if we can use it.”

Zahri was sworn in on Feb 1, and Ganesh is hopeful that the new mayor will be sympathetic to SHA. Ganesh said the association had no choice but to play Selangor League matches in Kuala Lumpur due to a lack of facilities in the state.

The Selangor League resumed on April 20 after a five-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I spoke to the menteri besar about the Petaling Jaya Stadium. He asked me to write to him. I did that, but he has not replied. It feels like the state government is focusing too much on football and ignoring the other sports.”

Ganesh said hockey and other sports get around RM40,000 annually from the state government, but on Nov 10, 2023, Amirudin announced that the football team would receive RM10 million of the RM19 million budget for sports.

“There is a big disparity between what football receives and what the other sports get. No doubt football is the country’s No. 1 sport, but surely, the state government can support the other sports better,” said Ganesh.

“The Selangor hockey team has done well in recent years, with the women winning three of the last seven Razak Cup tournaments.”

As there is extensive damage to the turf, the Petaling Jaya City Council’s junior teams have no choice but to only use one small area to train for penalty corners and set-pieces.

“To train on a full-sized pitch we have to go to Klang or the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil,” said junior women’s coach Herman Pami.

“For now, I can only use this small part of the pitch for training, but the turf is not smooth,” he added.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal also agreed with Ganesh that SHA needs to push for an upgrade of the Petaling Jaya Hockey Stadium. He said it is sad that a wealthy state like Selangor does not have hockey pitches in each district.

“As a true anak Selangor (Selangor-born), I am disappointed with the condition of the hockey facilities in the state,” said Subahan.

“We are lucky to have a sponsor like QNET Group that has helped us organise the league for seven seasons. But we need to find a solution to the stadium issues for hockey to have a better future,” he added.

He also took Amirudin to task for channelling too much money to football. Subahan, a former Selangor Football Association president and Football Association of Malaysia vice-president said he spoke to Amirudin, asking him to do more for the other sports.

“We are friends. We can speak openly about this matter. I told him other sports needed financial assistance, not just football.

“SHA is not asking for much, between RM100,000-RM200,000 to organise tournaments, especially for the juniors,” said Subahan, SHA president from 2011 to 2017.

“The future is in our young children. We need to organise more tournaments for them – proper competitions run over several months, not on a carnival basis,” Subahan added.

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