SABAH TENNIS MOVING ON AFTER SHATTERED DREAMS

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PETALING JAYA, Dec 29 – The world is in turmoil on all fronts – thanks to the deadly pandemic called Covid-19 and Sabah Tennis is no exception leaving the sport in shattered dreams.
Sabah Tennis Association president, Johnson Koh aptly described it as a “tragedy” that is never experienced by anyone before when normal life screeched to a halt – after the government took preventive measures and imposed nationwide movement control order (MCO).
KK players training in KK with coach Shamsuddin Mustamin.
When international borders and domestic movements were also restricted and the world was in chaos. The lockdowns brought pain. In the sports arena, there were no high-fives, hugs, handshakes, and no chest bumps and celebrations, and tennis like any other sport was not spared.
It did not stop at that. There were no close group photos, no big gatherings, and no annual general meetings (AGMs).
Johnson, however, applauds the tennis fraternity. To him, tennis players ”don’t give up easily” and went about their controlled training, practice, and court drills” under the strict new standard operating procedures (SOP).
Sukma training was derailed and later postponed. This year’s Sukma Johor 2020 was postponed and rescheduled for March 2021. However, the biennial games have now been postponed yet again and will be held in 2022.
According to Johnson, shelving the much-awaited Inter-District championships and the Invitational team tennis for 2020 was a ”pain” for Sabah Tennis. The Junior League and all other official tournaments in Sabah also suffered.
Johnson (right) courtesy call on KK Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman, ( the youngest Permanent Secretary of the sports ministry 36 years ago) to bid him farewell. He retires on 31 December 2020 
It is a “thumbs-up” from Johnson for the Sukma tennis players who kept on training on their own when they were allowed to train in their respective districts.
“The players kept in touch with their coaches and officials through apps group,” said Johnson, a businessman in Sandakan.
Johnson hopes 2021 will be better and has vowed to “go full steam” when the situation allows.
“Everyone is looking and longing for a normal start for 2021,” he added and keeping his fingers crossed that 2021 be a happy and better new year for tennis.

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