Eagles swoop in early to unearth future diving talents


Splashing show. Young divers took part in the Under-12 competition to showcase their talents.

PETALING JAYA: The best way to find diving talents for the future is to get them young.

That’s why head coach of Eagles Diving Club, Abdul Rahsid Mohd, was excited over the three-day Under-12 Mahsa International Novice Diving Championship that ended on Thursday at the Mahsa University in Bandar Saujana Putra.

A total of 112 junior divers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore participated in the championship, co-hosted by Eagles Diving Club, Mahsa University and the state (Negri Sembilan).

Rahsid said there were plenty of talents during the Under-12 meet that could be absorbed into the national programme under the National Sports Council (NSC).

The NSC had to drop five girls’ events for next month’s Malaysia Games (Sukma) because of a lack of participation from states.

“This lower age-group competition was a good platform to unearth talents. It will be ideal if the talents from here get to represent the country in the future as currently, we have a limited number of female divers,” said Rahsid.

“I hope that the NSC are aware that there are plenty of young female divers who are in training to be professional divers.

The age limit for the tournament was between seven to 12 to provide a platform for junior divers to show their talents and skills.

“In Malaysia, we have many competitions for divers above 12 but there is none for below 12,” said Rahsid

“We wanted these young kids to have a chance to gauge the level of their talents. They were able to see their progress in training and their weaknesses too through the competition.”

Rahsid was thankful for the support shown by different parties which led to the success of the tournament and they plan to make it an annual event.

“We did not get any sponsors from the government because it was a last-minute decision to organise it,” he said.

“But we received sponsors from parents and clubs while states and foreign countries showed their support by participating.”

Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) emerged as the overall champions of the inaugural season by capturing 33 gold, 10 silver and nine bronzes, followed by Perak (8-6-2) and Negri (7-4-3).

Thailand and the Philippines requested for an invitation but they could not make it as there were ongoing tournaments held in their homeland.

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