NEWLY appointed Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has said that he wants to revive physical education in our schools to improve Malaysia’s standard in sports.
There are around 7,000 primary and 2,000 secondary schools with a population of about five million schoolchildren in the country.
Do all of these schools have proper fields, facilities and equipment, and trained physical education teachers or coaches for the respective sports?
During my schooldays in the 60s and 70s, both primary and secondary, it was compulsory for all pupils to take part in track and field events, cross-country runs and inter-house sports competitions.
Our Physical Education teachers were passionate and committed towards giving their pupils the right exposure and opportunities to excel in sports.
On their part, the pupils took great pride in competing for their sports house and the good ones were selected to represent the school, district and state. The outstanding ones went on to represent the country in international competitions.
Our future success in sports depends on identifying and developing talents from the most basic level – schools. Thus, it would be wise to bring back the inter-school and inter-club relay carnivals of the past.
The Malaysia Schools Sports Council (MSSM) and other stakeholders including the Youth and Sports and Education ministries must come up with suitable policies to give our young talents a chance to excel in sports.
C. SATHASIVAM SITHERAVELLU