Eight core sports to benefit from RM30m allocation

KUALA LUMPUR: An allocation of RM30 million for development at grassroots level will be shared among the eight core sports identified by the government to achieve excellence on the world stage. 

And the association of the eight sports – badminton, bowling, gymnastics, aquatics, hockey, squash, athletics and football – will be signing a contract with the Youth and Sports Ministry on Friday. 

The minister, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, said that from now on, they would be taking a pro-active roles in grassroots development programmes. 

“All grassroots level programme now comes under the purview of the ministry while the National Sports Council (NSC) will handle those at the intermediate level after the athletes leave school,” said Azalina after visiting the badminton national training centre at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday. 

The additional allocation of RM30 million will be handed out under the budget approved by the Cabinet Committee for the Development of Sports, which is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. 

Apart from this, the government have also announced an allocation of RM125 million for sports in general to the Youth and Sports Ministry while the NSC get RM38 million for the high-performance sports under the 2006 programme targeted at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and Doha Asiad. 

On the amount to be disbursed, Azalina said that it would be subject to performance and requirements of the specific sport. 

“If the government sees many champion being produced in a sport, then they certainly deserve more,” she said. 

“The money to be used for development of the grassroots level will be controlled by the ministry and we will be monitoring their effectiveness to ensure they are on the right track. Hence, the reason for asking them to sign the contract with us.” 

Badminton, which is the only sport to produce medals for Malaysia in the Olympics thus far, could get the biggest allocation. 

Bowling and squash have also been consistently producing winners at the international arena since the mid-90s and they can also expect to get a bigger share of the cake. 

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