The choice between sport and schooling

THE Bowerbird Writes “Make Malaysia a sporting nation” (The Star, Sept 19). Making Malaysia a “sporting nation” has also become the dream of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

They spoke about money, infrastructure, psyche, and attitude in sport for the young. With due respect, Malaysia has the money, infrastructure and almost everything.

Malaysians, however, are an undecided breed of people. Should they strive to excel academically or in sport? Ask any parent or child of their choice between sports and schooling. It is always in our minds that without a good education, university or paper qualifications, none would be successful in life. Even with paper qualifications, many are still waiting to be employed.

When Malaysia wanted to reward the Olympic and Paralympic athletes with handsome rewards, it was met with resistance.

Passion and love for the sport must come first together with a big dream of being the best in the world.

Discipline, self-sacrifice and self-mastery of the sport, together with guidance from top-notch coaches, are the other essential ingredients in building a potential champion.

Then one must be good enough to compete in the world arena, and ever eager to learn first-hand from top players.

Atheletes must appreciate and believe that sports can change their lives.

Sport has the power of creating a sense of togetherness, bonding and patriotism. Sport also fosters positivity, self-esteem and identity creation at various levels.

When such a socio-cultural impact is created, the value of sport is enhanced, paving the way towards becoming a sporting nation. For nationwide development to take place, budgets have to be allocated and investments made, and there has to be a robust governance model.

We need to expect a positive attitude and great effort all the time. And we need to play sport, watch sport, bet on sport and talk sport more than anything else.


Kuala Lumpur