RM8m programme to improve standard of athletics

Middle distance runner Mohd Jironi Riduan contributed two of the four golds won by athletics at the SEA Games in Myanmar, for the 800m and 1,500m.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) have come out with a four-year programme to improve the standard of athletics in the country.

MAF were at the receiving end for their poor outing in the Myanmar SEA Games last December. They only managed to win four out of the 45 golds at stake in the biennial Games.

MAF president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said the programme would cost them about RM2mil per year.

“The total cost for four years will be RM8mil. We will ask the National Sports Council (NSC) for the money to carry out the programme. It will begin this year,” said Zainal after a council meeting on Friday.

“The programme is divided into three categories. The first is to identify the talents and development of the sport in every state,” said Zainal.

“Secondly, we hope to improve the standard of coaching at every level from the schools right up to the state and national level. Thirdly, we aim to improve the equipment and facilities in every state,” added Zainal.

He said the MAF working committee would present the programme to NSC on March 17 for approval.

He added that the programme would help Malaysia be a powerhouse in athletics again for the 2017 SEA Games, which Malaysia will be hosting.

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