Sports bodies can hold their own after Sukma cancelled

PETALING JAYA: Elective sports are likely to host their own national-level junior competitions following the cancellation of this year’s Sukma (Malaysia Games). 

Last week, Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin announced plans to axe the Games from this year onwards.

Sports likely to be effected include basketball, cricket, fencing, handball, kabbaddi and muay thai.

“As the minister announced last week, Sukma for the elective sports has been cancelled. We are setting up a meeting with the Sukma executive committee next month to formulate a plan for the elective sports,” said National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.

“The idea now is to encourage these elective sports to organise their own national junior championships this year in lieu of the Sukma ... we’re also looking into probably allocating some funds for them to do so.”

Shapawi also said that the decision would help alleviate the pressure on the state sports councils from having to fund a Sukma contingent every year.

Sukma, which is meant for athletes aged below 21-years-old, has been held biennially since 1986, when it was first held in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2010, the Cabinet Committee on Sports Development opted to have the Games held annually, in which elective sports would be allowed a chance to compete at the Games every other year beginning in 2011.

So far, the elective Sukma has only been held twice in 2011 and 2013.

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