THE “Cari Champions” (Search for Champions) talent identification (TID) exercise held in Bukit Jalil last Saturday drew an overwhelming response when about 800 students turned up for the event.
Besides the 600 students from 15 schools in Kuala Lumpur who had registered for the event, another 200 people, many accompanied by their parents, walked in and took part in the programme.
The young students arrived as early as 7am for the event launched 90 minutes later by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said.
The full-day exercise, sponsored by Milo, was jointly organised by the National Fitness Council (NFC), National Sports Institute (NSI) and the Education Ministry.
Azalina, who received loud applause from the students for his rousing speech, said: “Sports can be used as a platform to elevate the image of our country. Sports can help to build a healthy and fit Bangsa Malaysia.
“I am sure that all of us do not want Malaysia to be known only as a country which has world class facilities, officials and organisers. I am sure that we also want Malaysia to be known as a country which also has world class athletes.
“Can we achieve that? Do you want to become champions? (A resounding yes from the students). Yes, Malaysia boleh!
“In this TID programme, we are not waiting for the talents to emerge. We are also going down to the ground to discover talents as early as possible.”
NSC acting director-general Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz said the TID programme had already visited Kok Lanas (Kelantan), Ulu Bendul (Negri Sembilan), Temerloh (Pahang), Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Kuching (Sarawak) since June.
“Talent scouting is nothing new. But the whole idea of the TID programme is to put the sparkle and shine back into talent identification. At the moment, we are scraping the tip of the iceberg in terms of looking for young talents.
“Based on the results we achieved at Ulu Bendul, where untrained students did very well in the vertical jump and standing broad jump tests, I am excited about the prospects that we can discover.”
Four general physical tests – 40m sprint, vertical (sergeant chalk) jump, standing broad jump and beep test endurance shuttle run – were conducted at Bukit Jalil.
Specific tests were also carried out on four of the eight core sports – athletics, badminton, football and hockey.
“Although we are focusing on the eight core sports, that will not stop us from channelling talents who have the right physiological and athletic attributes to other sports.
“Authorities in the sports fraternity must show a willingness to work together to achieve our common goal,” added Ramlan.
NSC TID assistant director Zaiton Othman said the results collected at Bukit Jalil would be included in the TID database.
“Nationwide, the general tests conducted are the same However, we have excluded three tests (seat and reach flexibility test, arm strength basketball throw test and agility test) due to the time constraint,” Zaiton explained.
Using the expertise from NSI, the TID team comprising two officers and three staff led by Zaiton, are committed to make the TID testing a long-term programme instead of seasonal one.
“We are looking into the prospect of employing four more officers to beef up the team and conduct more testing.
“We want to visit more rural areas and discover the raw, hidden talents there.
“The tests that we did with the orang asli children in Pekan, Pahang, was a fruitful one,” said Ramlan
Among those at the TID launching were sports advisory panel chairman Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusof, Youth and Sports Ministry secretary-general Mohd Arif Abu Bakar, eight core sports steering committee chairman Tan Sri Mohd Noordin Hassan, Education Ministry Sports and Physical Education Department policy and sports development division director Jalaludin Othman, Nestle Products sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong and Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah.
Noordin, a former Education Ministry secretary-general, said said he was glad to note that the programme had gained the support and approval of parents and teachers alike.
TALENT IDENTIFICATIONS TESTS
a) Weight – Measure body mass in kilogrammes.
b) Height – Measure physical stature in metres.
c) Speed – Run a 40m sprint
EXPLOSIVE LOWER BODY STRENGTH
a) Vertical/Sergeant Jump – To gauge vertical explosive power
b) Standing Broad Jump – To gauge horizontal explosive power
A) Beep Test Endurance Shuttle Run – Measure aerobic endurance
a) Athletics – Sit-up, sit-and-reach
b) Badminton – Eight minutes of play
c) Football – Long pass, short pass, shooting, dribbling, juggling
d) Hockey – Pushing, hitting, shooting, dribbling, passing