Silat: Persisi unveils four-pronged plan to take silat forward

Singapore Silat Federation chief executive officer Sheik Alau'ddin addressing over 300 parents and young athletes at a sharing session at the OCBC Arena last night on how to bring more success to the sport.
Singapore Silat Federation chief executive officer Sheik Alau'ddin addressing over 300 parents and young athletes at a sharing session at the OCBC Arena last night on how to bring more success to the sport.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Persisi CEO Sheik is also working with world body to get sport included at the Olympics

The Singapore Silat Federation (Persisi) last night unveiled a four-step plan to grow the sport here, as it works towards the ultimate goal of having a Singaporean compete in pencak silat at the Olympics, should it be included as a medal sport one day.

Persisi chief executive officer Sheik Alau'ddin, 51, revealed four key performance indicators (KPIs) which he wants the local governing body to meet in the coming years during a sharing session at the OCBC Arena with over 300 parents and young athletes from the local community.

First, the two-time world champion wants the national sports association to groom non-Malay athletes for the national team, and hire non-Malay staff in its management, in a bid to make the sport more inclusive.

Second, he wants to produce a national syllabus and grading system, so that there is a standardised training programme from grassroots to the elite level. He also aims to increase the number of national training squad members from about 120 to 300 by early next year.

Finally, the federation will ramp up fund-raising efforts to beef up its reserves.

Said Sheik: "We have been working very closely with (national sports agency) Sport Singapore, the Singapore Sports Institute, and I feel we have to make a big change to get even better. I am confident we can meet the KPIs.

"For participation, for example, we are likely to have an ActiveSG programme by next year, and we will engage the tertiary institutions, and societies like Jamiyah to find talent."

Sheik said that 2018 is an important year for Persisi as there are two major competitions - the Asian Games and the World Pencak Silat Championships - both in Jakarta.

Pencak silat will make its debut as a medal sport at the Asiad next August in the Indonesian capital, where the world championships will be held four months later.

Said Sheik: "For the Asian Games, our target will be two gold medals - one in the tanding (match) category and one in the artistic category. We hope to hit more but the target is a minimum of two golds."

The ultimate target is to get the sport included at the Olympics.

AIMING HIGH

For the Asian Games, our target will be two gold medals - one in the tanding (match) category and one in the artistic category. We hope to hit more but the target is a minimum of two golds.

SHEIK ALAU'DDIN, on the federation's expectations for next year's Asian Games when silat makes its debut.

Sheik said that he has been working with international silat body Persilat and its president Prabowo Subianto, a prominent Indonesian businessman, politician and former lieutenant-general in the Indonesian army, to realise the dream.

"Realistically, we are looking at the 2032 Olympics," said Sheik, who is the president of the Asian Pencak Silat Federation and also the chairman of public relations at Persilat.

"In 2025, we have to put in a formal bid for silat's inclusion, and Persilat has targeted a budget of US$54 million (S$74.5 million) to make it happen.

"Persilat is serious, and has allocated US$6 million from the budget, for rebranding."

Last night, Persisi invited parents and young athletes from the local community to a sharing session at its training base at OCBC Arena Hall 4 to share information about the association and its future plans.

Said Persisi president Mohd Yasrin Mohd Yasil: "The reason we are all here is that we want to develop a close relationship among Persisi, athletes and parents."

One parent, Muhammad Razak, 41, was impressed with the sharing session. The former silat exponent, who was in the national squad from 1993 to 1997, has two sons - Muhammad Rizqan, 19, and Muhammad Rizuan, 14 - who both recently joined the national age-group training squads.

Said Razak: "This meeting is really good for parents to learn more about what is going on."

Persisi will hold an open selection for next year's major Games - which include the World Junior Pencak Silat Championships - on Dec 9, and its annual registration will be on Jan 6, both at the OCBC Arena.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2017, with the headline '4-Pillar plan to take Silat forward'. Print Edition | Subscribe