Hishammuddin tables new sports policy for excellence by 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia have drawn up a new sports policy aimed at achieving excellence in core sports in the Asian and Olympic Games by 2010. 

In announcing this yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said that so far 26 sports had been identified as having the potential to win medals for the country in the two Games. 

“By 2010, the ministry will pick and focus on several sports classified as high-performance core sports that can bring in medals for Malaysia at the Asian and Olympic levels,” he said after the post-Cabinet meeting here. 

After 2010, the ministry will categorise sports into two groups – world-level and Commonwealth-Asian status.  

Hishammuddin said that the 2010 programme would involve 8,550 athletes between the ages of eight and 15 and 1,766 coaches (1,700 full-time and 66 foreigners) in 653 training centres. 

“The 2010 programme will be conducted concurrently with the Gemilang 2006 programme. All the allocations for both programmes have been approved by the Cabinet,” he said. 

The Gemilang 2006 programme, which began in 2002, is also aimed at winning honours at the 2006 Asiad in Qatar and also the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. 

The high-performance sports identified are weightlifting, badminton, track cycling, bodybuilding, basketball, football, equestrian, gymnastics, golf, silat, athletics, squash, boxing, wushu, hockey, karate, lawn bowls, fencing, archery, shooting, sailing, aquatics, sepak takraw, snooker and billiards, taekwondo and tenpin bowling. 

Sports which fail to live up to expectation will be relegated to a “sports for all” category. 

“Sports categorised as 'sports for all' and 'normal sports' will be placed under the charge of the National Sports Council (NSC),” he said. 

Hishamuddin added that the NSC training track in Bukit Jalil would be renamed National Athletics Training Centre, dedicated to the use of the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU). 

The Tun Razak Hockey Stadium in Jalan Duta would be known as the National Hockey Training Centre while the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil would be reserved for competitions only. – Bernama 

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