PARENTS and sports coaches are up in arms over the increase in tennis court rentals and other facilities at the newly renovated sports complex in Ipoh.
A tennis coach said there was almost a 100% increase in the price of tennis court bookings.
He said what was previously RM5 for an hour on weekdays was now RM10 per hour, and RM10 per hour on weekends was now RM15.
“Bookings have been slow lately because coaches charging a minimum fee cannot afford the high prices set by Ipoh City Council.
“I charge a minimal fee for my students. For those who cannot afford it and with disabilities, I teach them for free,” he said.
The coach said he trained students to enable them to take part in tournaments at the state, national and international levels.
With the new pricing, he needed to fork out RM60 for two courts on weekends, for two hours.
“As such, I need to find an alternative location because I have classes almost every day.
“I am not teaching for profit, but I want as many children to learn sports from a young age,” he added.
Parent and teacher Syahril Yusof, 38, said tennis court charges for the district schools sports meet was now more than RM2,000, which was previously RM800.
Syahril, who also plays tennis, said the charges were exorbitant.
“I send my son for tennis lessons because sports keeps youngsters fit and prevents them from getting involved in social ills.
“Sports development is important for young children, so the charges must be reasonable,” he added.
State Youth, Sports and Human Capital Development committee chairman Howard Lee Chuan said he would table a motion for the formation of the State Sports Corporation next month.
“For now, the sports complex is under the purview of Ipoh City Council, but once the corporation takes over, most of the sports facilities and venues will be under them.
“Only then can we review the prices and consider the plight of the coaches and the general public,” he said.
Lee added that he met with the Perak Lawn Tennis Association members and was aware of the challenges faced.
“The state government will ensure that the development of sports will not be affected,” he added.