THE Selangor government will spend RM195,350 on the welfare of ex-athletes under the “Ceria Atlet Selangor” programme with the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb).
Through the state’s youth, sports development and human capital development committee, the programme aims to benefit at least 50 households of former athletes, including those with disabilities (OKU), in the near future.
Committee chairman Mohd Khairuddin Othman said the funds would go towards various efforts to improve the lives of athletes who had fallen on hard times after sacrificing for the state and country.
“This will include repairing the houses of former athletes as well as purchasing items for their homes such as furniture and appliances, which will come to about RM5,000 for each household,” he said during the launch at the state secretariat building in Shah Alam.
“We want to help at least 50 athletes in the state and we have been working with Yakeb and Selangor Sports Council (MSNS) to determine what is needed for each athlete or their family.”
Khairuddin said priority would be given to those without income and those who needed assistance the most.
The foundation will also look at paying for the education of the children of former athletes under the Selangor Athlete Career and Education Programme with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).Yakeb chairman Datuk Noorul Ariffin Abdul Majeed said at least 250 applications were received before selection was done based on criteria set out by the Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (Upen) as well as visits by Yakeb and the committee.
He added that this was the first time such a programme had been done for the athletes and lauded the initiatives taken by the state government with regard to their welfare.
“Selangor has the highest number of athletes in the country who are registered with Yakeb, with over 800 members in the state out of the total 2,700 nationwide,” said Noorul Ariffin.
The programme kicks off this weekend with a home makeover for two athletes in Gombak and Petaling Jaya.
It will also be a platform for Selangor youth under the Penggerak Belia Tempatan (PeBT or Local Youth Movement) to engage with the community when they participate in the programme.
Fifteen former athletes comprising those who participated in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, SEA Games as well as their para-sport counterparts from the 1960s to 2000s attended the ceremony.
Also present were Yakeb board of director member, Datuk Seri Megat Shahriman Zaharudin
who is also Malaysian Paralympic Council president, MSNS executive director Nizam Marjugi, Selangor Youth and Sports director Hasnata Hasan, Malaysian Association
For The Blind chief executive officer George Thomas, bodybuilding legend Datuk Malek Noor and badminton legend Rashid Sidek.
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