A SPORTS university may be set up via a public-private partnership between a government linked company and a model institution in the United Kingdom, said the Youth and Sports Ministry.
Its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that discussions were still at an early stage as the setting up of the university was not the top priority at the moment because the government is trying to reduce the country’s deficit.
“The university is aimed at providing a platform for athletes who are at a disadvantage to pursue their studies at higher learning institutions as their schedule clashes with classes conducted in other universities,” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin (PKR-Bukit Katil) during Question Time.
Khairy also revealed that the sports industry had contributed some 5% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year.
“This is through various sports events held nationwide and the selling of sports merchandise,” he said.
To a question on the number of high performance athletes who had been identified by the ministry, Khairy said 350 athletes from sports schools had represented the country in 18 Games since the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998 until the London Olympic Games 2012, contributing to a total of 101 gold, 93 silver, and 89 bronze medals.
“The ministry is currently undertaking a talent search for children between seven and 12-years-old with the co-operation of the Education Ministry,” he said.