July 2002) NETBALL coach Chee Mei Ling hopes her Sukma
team will be given the chance to compete in the upcoming
National Netball Championship in Kuala Lumpur from August
She said this is to enable her to put her players to a
final test and also to know the true strength of the team.
Speaking to the New Sabah Times Sport yesterday, Chee
said: "We are still unsure whether we can make the
trip or otherwise. But I really hope we will be given
the chance to compete in the annual event."
"The plan is there (to compete), but now it is up
to the Sabah Sports Board whether they can accommodate
our request. At the moment, it is still under consideration,
and even if we get a negative answer from them, we will
still find a way to make the trip," she added.
"Most of the states will be competing in the championship,
and I expect them to send their Sukma squads.
"This will be the best venue for me to assess the
team's development or progress during training. We have
been training and training all this while and we lack
sparring partners or exposure. By competing in this championship,
I will get a better picture of the team's strength and
progress," Chee pointed out.
Furthermore Chee said this would be the team's last chance
to play in competitive matches before the Games.
On her objective for the team in Sukma, Chee said: "Of
course we want to win a gold medal, and I think our chances
of achieving our target are quite good. Our main challenge
will come from Sarawak and Pahang," she pointed out.
She said that at the moment the squad is undergoing indoor
training in Kepayan. "We used to train at the Likas
Sports Complex court, but since the weather is too hot
we decided to shift our training base to Kepayan."
In Sukma, Sabah has been drawn together with Johor, Brunei
and Kuala Lumpur in Group D. Defending champions Sarawak
lead the pack in Group A together with Melaka and Kedah
while Penang, Perak and Negeri Sembilan make up Group
B. Selangor, Kelantan and Pahang are in Group C.