Hockey wins biggest share of sports grant pie


By RAJES PAUL

PUTRAJAYA: Men's hockey was the sport to get the biggest share of the pie when the RM30mil government sports grant was distributed here yesterday. 

But badminton faced the biggest disappointment, receiving only a tiny fraction of what the association had asked for. 

Men's hockey will receive RM4,553,080 – more than the RM3,449,440 the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) had asked for - to strengthen their development programme.  

Their task is to live up to the conditions set by the NSC – to expand their base at the grassroots level; increase the number of coaches, technical officials and volunteers; upgrade facilities; and revive the district and state sports councils. 

Badminton had asked for more than RM26 mil. The BA of Malaysia (BAM) will get RM3,141,420. 

Besides men's hockey, three other core sports received more than they had asked for. The three are football, squash and bowling. 

Three other sports got less than they had wanted. The three are gymnastics, athletics and aquatics. 

The eight sports signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Sports Council (NSC), who were represented by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said, at her office here yesterday. 

After announcing the quantum, the eight sports were asked to get cracking. The money will be released as soon as the national sports associations (NSAs) line up their activities over the next six months. 

Said Azalina: “With this money, we hope to see the NSAs develop their athletes at all levels. We want to widen our base. This money will help the NSAs to have a more specialised programme targeting the up-coming athletes in schools and universities. 

“If the NSAs don't adhere to the conditions we have set, the NSC have the right to stop the funding.” 

Although men's hockey was the sport to get the biggest cut, it was not the biggest recipient. The secretariat will be given RM4,785,729.00. 

Asked why the secretariat received more than any of the sports associations, steering committee chairman Tan Sri Noordin Hassan said: “This is the reserve money for the eight associations. They can ask us for more if they need it.  

“Besides, we will also need to form a team to oversee the distribution of money for the eight sports. This money will also be used for promotional purposes.” 

Despite the huge difference in the amount they had asked and what they received, BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said they were ready to get things moving. 

“We asked for the big sum because we looked at long-term programmes.  

“We included competitions, hiring of personnel – coaches and officials - from the lowest levels at kampongs right up to the states. We are happy with the money we got,” said Nadzmi. 

In March, the Cabinet Committee for the Development of Sports chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak approved the RM30mil budget for the eight sports' development programmes. 

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