Grooming athletes for the future

SJK (C) Lai Meng located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur city centre is grooming potential athletes to vie for honours at the Kuala Lumpur Schools Sports Council (MSSKL) athletics meet.

Coach Abas Kasim said it would take another three years for them to field a strong side for the zone and state competitions.

“Almost half of the current trainees are in Year Three. We have identified the young talents and we are preparing them to make an impact in the future.

“We are not rushing them to deliver. It is not about achieving immediate results. We have a long-term plan and we are guiding them to improve gradually with continuous training,” he added.

Currently, they have 50 trainees aged between 10 and 12 years in the team and the youngsters are going through the paces three times a week after their classes in the afternoon.

“Each session goes for about two hours. We are emphasising on developing their movement skills. Besides the basic drills, we also incorporate games for them to have fun.

“Occasionally, we will conduct track training session at the Kampung Pandan track on Saturday. We have also been selected as one of the centres for the multi-lateral development programme under the National Sports Institute (NSI),” said Abas, adding that his charges have produced respectable results this year.

Sprinter Mohd Qayyum Mohd Izlan and shot putter Nur Syafiqah Amirah Yahya were voted as the best Under-12 boys’ and girls’ recipients at this season’s MSSKL Keramat zone meet.

“I have learned a lot over the past three years here. It is going to be a sad moment when I have to move on to secondary school next year,” Qayyum said.

Qayyum and Syafiqah also went on to represent the state at the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) competition.

At the national schools meet, Qayyum was also part of the MSSKL quartet picking up a bronze medal in the 4x200m relay while Syafiqah chalked up her personal best of 9.27m to settle for a silver medal.

“Earlier, I also broke the meet record at the MSSKL Keramat zone competition with a new distance of 8.90m. I am satisfied with my progress,” said Syafiqah.

In addition, a former pupil, Elena Goh, has joined the national junior walking programme based at Bukit Jalil.

Among other up-and-coming walkers from the school are Amiruddin Shah, Kamarul Aiman Sharifuddin, Muhd Mirzan Johor Nadim Johor and Nur Fadhilah Nasrul.

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