KUALA LUMPUR: There were smiles on the faces of former national athletes at the end of a week-long skills empowerment programme which started on Nov 8.
Former national track cyclist Azrin Hazmi, one of the 100 participants of the programme organised by the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) in collaboration with Yayasan Hasanah, said the programme taught them various skills.
Azrin said they learnt how to start a business, marketing, packaging, and steps to obtain financial aid from relevant parties, such as Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Tekun Nasional.
“This is a good programme to assist former athletes to increase their skills and income after calling it a day in sports. It’s been over 20 years since I quit,” said Azrin, who operates a burger, chicken chop and barbecue stall.
“I joined the frozen food course and learned a lot and I also received a freezer for my business. It looks like I will be going full-time into business after this,” he said.
Former national para shuttler Madzlan Saibon, who runs a prosthetic leg business in Bagan Datuk, Perak, echoed the same sentiments.
“I want to thank Yakeb for organising this programme as it gave us tips and taught us methods to manage our businesses,” said Madzlan, who finished runner-up in the men’s singles WH2 (wheelchair) category at the 2009 and 2011 world championships.
Meanwhile, Yakeb chairman Datuk Noorul Ariffin Abdul Majeed said each participant was given a key performance indicator (KPI) index to generate a monthly income of RM600 so that the foundation could help them to grow their businesses further.
“Thank you Yayasan Hasanah for raising the number of participants from 60 last year to 100 this time, including 15 para athletes.”