THE Malaysian Cricket Association will put a number of national cricket players on a special task to train 30 intellectually disabled students from SMK Batu Muda as they aim to qualify for a slot to compete at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
In a collaborative effort with Special Olympics Malaysia (SOM), the association will begin introducing the sport of cricket to students through an eight-week training programme starting tomorrow, with a vision of setting up a team once the programme ends.
The programme is open to all schools with a special needs programme in Kuala Lumpur and will run every Thursday at SMK Batu Muda where national players will help to teach and hone the skills of students in three cricket techniques – bowling, catching and batting.
Upon completion, the programme will culminate with a tournament at the Kinrara Oval in Puchong in April.
SMK Batu Muda in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, is an integrated secondary school in Sentul that teaches up to 80 students with learning disabilities and has been a partner with the SOM for some time.
A number of students have already been introduced to sports such as horse riding, swimming, athletics and archery, with some training towards the 2019 World Games.
With athletes from both sides (SOM and national cricketers) no strangers to the gruelling pathway to achievement, the athletes from the programme will not only have something in common to share but also allow them to learn from each other.
In a statement, the cricket association stated that in the continuous pursuit of wholesome development of athletes, the players under the association should strive to develop their personal character in tandem with rising through the world ranks to become outstanding people in the community they serve.
“We envision our athletes to be genuinely caring, helpful and empathic when serving their communities.
“Other than learning and applying specific teaching techniques for special children, this training programme will definitely round out our national athletes’ winning qualities,” said the statement.
Through the programme, the association also hopes that the national cricket athletes will learn new skills in patience and strategy over the eight weeks of teaching cricket to children with learning disabilities.
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