PREPARING the country’s athletes for life after retirement is part of the Higher Education Ministry’s plan.
Its minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said that Malaysia needs “thinking athletes” who can support themselves once they leave the sports arena.
This is the purpose of the Sports Leadership Transformation Programme that was launched at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) last Thursday.
“This programme will also ensure our sports sector continues to improve,” he said.
Idris said that plans for the higher education system to identify, groom and empower students to aspire to be leaders of sports associations began last February.
He said that the programme is not confined to UPM students but tertiary students from all over the country.
After a five-minute squash session with the minister, Malaysian squash superstar Datuk Nicol David said it was important to start training the athletes while they are still in university for life after sports.
“There are so many positive qualities a sportsperson has.
“I’ve learnt so much through sports to help me achieve my goals,” she added.
The programme will be jointly conducted by UPM Sports Academy and Sports Warrior Global.
The first phase will commence after the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Training will encompass three levels – foundation, intermediate and advanced.
Among the core modules are local and international sports architecture, management paradigms, strategies to encourage sports participation in universities, the impact of technology and attachment programmes.