National schools events over but poor organisation mars athletes’ performances


PETALING JAYA: The national schools (MSSM) sports events have been completed and poor organisations continued to stand out like a sore thumb. 

The curtains came down on Saturday on the six remaining sports on the MSSM calendar – aquatics, netball, volleyball, sepak takraw, gymnastics and squash. 

The previous week featured football, hockey, cricket, yachting, rugby, table tennis, bowling, badminton, athletics and golf. 

Despite organising the events for almost three decades, same old problems surfaced – deplorable facilities at some venues, tight scheduling and a poor system of providing results. 

There were 26 meet records in aquatics but they were tainted by poor organisation. In swimming, the results were given a day late.  

The water in the diving and warm-up pool appeared murky. 

In badminton and squash, matches were played on very tight schedules and players were stretched to breaking points. 

Kuala Lumpur's Kapil Nesan won the boys' Under-18 squash title after his opponent Mohd Azfar Azan conceded a walkover after playing the first game. 

Apparently, Azfar was tired because he only had an hour break after his semi-final match. 

In badminton, most of the current top national back-up players were also not seeded in the competitions because the organisers were adamant over using previous MSSM results as the yardstick. 

There was also more waiting in gymnastics. The final day's competition ended at 2pm with KL emerging as the overall champions on Saturday. The prize presentation ceremony was made an hour later.  

But official results were out only seven hours later because of technical glitches. 

The schools educate the children to do things correctly and efficiently but it appears as though the MSSM are slow in learning to get their programmes right. 

The acting director of Sports Division of the Ministry of Education, Abdullah Junus, admitted yesterday that the organisers should have been more prepared. 

“It is the job of the organisers to ensure the smooth running of the events. In swimming, we heard the water quality was poor and they were slow in giving out the results. We will look into these matters and to ensure that there will be better running of the championships next year,” said Abdullah. 

He added that they would meet up the football players next week in the final part of their investigations into the crowd invasion and bad behaviour by the Terengganu supporters and officials in the Under-18 football final against KL in Ipoh. 

“We met all the officials last week. We will now meet the players at their respective schools. We will put forward our findings at our disciplinary board for action to be taken against the guilty parties,” said Abdullah. 

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