JOHOR BARU: Training for 836 Johor Malaysia Games (Sukma) athletes will continue as usual in line with the standard operating procedures (SOP) imposed by the National Security Council (MKN) for Covid-19 prevention.
Johor tourism, youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the training was closely monitored by the Athlete and Sports Science Unit (UASS) under the Johor Sports Council (MSNJ) to ensure that each individual was in his or her best condition to train both mentally and physically.
“MSNJ is working closely with the National Sports Institute (NSI) to ensure that all athletes will be able to perform during Sukma, which is expected to be held in March next year.
“The athletes have also been provided with sports science services such as physiological exercise, sports biomechanics, performance analysis, and sports psychology,” he told StarMetro.
The Johor Sukma Games was originally scheduled to be held from July 11 to 19, followed by the Para Sukma Games from Aug 11 to 22.
Onn Hafiz said NSI was equipped with expertise in sports science and would provide hands-on education to athletes during the training.
“NSI has provided input on silat, archery, shooting, cycling, petanque, swimming, kayak and judo.
“MSNJ is also conducting the Titanium Programme, which focuses on providing support to state athletes who are potential gold medal winners.”
He said Johor was targeting at least 45 gold medals in next year’s Sukma.
He added that some of the sports under the Titanium Programme were swimming, cycling, athletics, archery, shooting and lawn bowls.
Onn Hafiz explained that expertise in sports science and coaching were crucial for the Titanium Programme to succeed.
“Sports science plays a role in collecting research and data from an athlete during training, so that is why we have established our own team to gather intel on how we can better help our athletes.
“We have implemented three methods in our data collection namely strength and conditioning, sports nutrition and sports psychology,” he said.
He added that MSNJ was also getting help and advice from sports and academic consultants especially on “periodisation training” --- a programme where athletes followed a training schedule with the aim of reaching the best possible performance for major competitions.
On a separate matter, Onn Hafiz said the state government was in the final phase of completing the Johor Sports Master Plan expected to be launched by the end of this year.
“It is part of our ongoing plan to promote sports tourism with the sports industry becoming one of our main economic contributors, aside from nurturing a healthy lifestyle among the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, MSNJ director Mohd Gadaffie Abd Aziz said that although the sports master plan put emphasis on high-performance sports initiatives, it also hoped to make sports the new economic pillar of the state.
“The master plan covers the requirement of four key audiences which are high performance, lifestyle, learning and business community.
“The aims are also to encourage the creation of a sustainable sports ecosystem as an industry in Johor,” he said.
Mohd Gadaffie added that the master plan would serve as a guide to improve Johor’s position as a sports powerhouse in the country.