KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) will for the first time send promising athletes to competitions in Europe this year.
The Ministry of Education's acting director of the sports division, Abdullah Junus, said yesterday that this was made possible because they were now affiliated to the International Schools Sports Federation (ISSF).
There is an avenue for MSSM to send our athletes to higher level competitions in Europe. The ISSF have send us their calendar of events and most of the competitions are based in Europe, said Abdullah at the Wisma OCM after F&N Coca-Cola Malaysia and F&N Dairies Malaysia extended their sponsorships with MSSM in a simple ceremony here yesterday.
Abdullah said that they would look at the ISSF calendar to decide on which sports to send their athletes for competitions.
He said that cross-country running was likely to be the first to get the nod because they had already completed the national level competition in Port Dickson recently.
He added that they would also look at a team event on the ISSF calendar.
Abdullah thanked the sponsors for their commitment in the F&N-MSSM Tunas Bolasepak Under-12 football development project, which is in its third year.
He said that the joint programme with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) was aimed at lending a helping hand in schools besides providing teachers with coaching courses, conducting seminars, football clinics and carnivals at district, state and national levels.
The F&N's assistant general manager for brand marketing and research, Chris Ng, said that the programme had steadily grown with significant improvement.
We have 584 centres nationwide and we aim to reach out to another 104 schools with some 15,000 pupils involved in this programme, said Chris. He added that they would also be the Rakan Sukan partners of the MSSM, supporting the development programmes of 24 sports.