From left: Asst Prof Koh Koon Teck (second) with Mr Jugder Otgontsagaan (third), Secretary General, Mongolia National Olympic Committee, Mr B. Orgil, Acting Secretary General, Mongolian Basketball Association (fourth) and national basketball team legend Mr Tserenjankhar Sharavjamts (first)
In Asia, the standard of basketball is relatively underdeveloped compared with other continents such as Europe, America and Oceania. This is evident in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) world ranking. In 2013, FIBA, together with FIBA Asia, initiated a four year Coach Development Plan with the aim of raising the basketball coaching standard in Asia. Of the 44 countries in Asia, 26 countries have been identified to be involved in the development scheme.
I am humbled to be selected as one of the three expert instructors by FIBA Asia to conduct coaching clinics (Level Levels one to three) for these countries. Last year, I conducted the first clinic in Bangladesh, where 40 participants from all over the country came to attend the class.
The clinic in Mongolia was the second one FIBA Asia had invited me to deliver. Mongolia is a new member of FIBA. Currently, the playing standard in the country is considered to be behind Singapore. As the popularity of basketball in Mongolia grows rapidly, I believe that with a proper support system in place, such as a better developed administrative, developmental programmes, as well as knowledgeable officials, the standard of basketball in Mongolia will eventually catch up with Singapore.
The biggest motivation for me to be involved in the development plan is to share my coaching knowledge and experience with the foreign administrators and coaches. They have played an important part to impact and influence others through the game of basketball. At the same time, I learnt about their system through the host and the participants and reflected on possible improvements to our own system. Being able to travel to different countries to teach also enhanced my learning experience and provided a chance for me to immerse in their cultures. These experiences widened my horizon and will be useful in my transfer of knowledge to our students.
I hope to continue in many more meaningful projects such as this. I am confident that with proper training and development of coaches, the basketball standard in Asia could be on par with other continents and improve its overall world ranking in time to come.
This article first appeared in NIE's quarterly publication NIE News in September 2015.