Combat sports now classified as sporting activities in schools

KUALA LUMPUR: Classifying combat sports as a sporting activity where previously it was under "uniformed body activity" is among the seven points agreed at the Sports Development High Level Committee (HLC) meeting on Wednesday (June 7).

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said the classification is to ensure that combat sports athletes in schools get recognition equal to other sports in line with the Sports Development Act 1997 (Act 576).

"What is meant by combat sports are sports like taekwondo, wushu. We want coordination based on the Sports Development Act since activities have now increased to 103 types of sports. We want to coordinate at the school level as well, all of these will be called sports.

"For example, for e-sports, the category is already there, the definition of sport follows the Act and we want to ensure that coordination takes place at the school level," she said at a press conference after attending the committee's meeting at Parliament on Wednesday.

The HLC meeting follows the decision of the Sports Development Cabinet Committee meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and also attended by Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.

Hannah said that among the resolutions that had been agreed by the HLC was to encourage swimming and athletics clubs in potential schools to attract students to participate in the sports as well as to unearth new talent at the grassroots level.

The third resolution is to create and intensify annual competitions at the school level and Institutions of higher learning (IPT) across various education sectors including private schools, tahfiz and others through the District School Sports Council (MSSD) and the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM).

Hannah added that her ministry’s federal sports scholarship worth RM2mil has now been handed over to the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) to manage the scope, terms and allocation.

"In addition, the Youth and Sports Ministry through the National Youth and Sports Department will reactivate the implementation of the promotion and activities of Rakan Aktif (the core of Rakan Muda) in schools.

"The sixth is the role of the National Sports Institute which will help in expanding, coordinating and organising education and coaching licensing programmes for teachers and coaches under the Education and Higher Education Ministries," she said.

Finally, applications to the Community Sports Fund of RM20mil will be expanded to clubs and associations under the Education and Higher Education Ministries to implement the agenda of national health at the community level, she said.

Hannah said all seven things were agreed as the first step to bring about reforms in unearthing new talents in an effort to improve sports performance in the country especially in combat sports, athletics and swimming. - Bernama

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