PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s rhythmic team will get to participate in the Singapore invitational championships, after all.
Earlier, the team’s trip was in doubt as the National Sports Council (NSC) decided not to fund the men and women’s artistic and the rhythmic teams for the meet.
The Malaysian Gymnastics Federations (MGF) managed to get the necessary fund to send just the rhythmic team of Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izhar, Yap Lee Ya, Jaime Lee Yoke Jeng, Yong Soo Yee.
Yesterday, the team left for the championships which is part of the Singapore Sports Carnival which started yesterday until Sept 8.
Said the MGF secretary N. Shanmugarajah: “It is fortunate that we have enough fund to send the rhythmic team. We just did not want to disappoint the hosts as only the Philippines and Indonesia have confirmed participation for their sports carnival.”
“It was however too costly for us to send the artistic team (four men and four women). We are happy that the rhythmic team got an opportunity to compete against the foreign gymnasts.”
Meanwhile, the MGF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with their 11 states associations, who vowed to stay accountable in a bid to strengthen their grassroots programmes yesterday.
“We have always focused on strengthening the MGF's administration and the elite programmes. Now, we want to beef up the state administration,” said Shanmugarajah.
“Every state will receive RM1,000 for administration; RM1,200 for office rental; and three-full time officials. Previously, the state had worked from either their president or secretary's homes. Now, they will have a centralised place for the three full-time officials – development officer, a head coach and clerical officer.
The main focus will be on four types of programmes at the grassroots level – general gymnastics, kinder gymnastics, sports aerobics and cheerleading .
“First of all, we want to create the base and get as many people as possible to get involved in gymnastics. Two years down the road, we can then identify talents from this wide pool of gymnastics enthusiasts.”
This year, the government had given RM929,000 to MGF, of which RM200,000 had been approved for development programmes. The 11 states who signed the MoU are Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Pahang, Malacca, Sarawak and Sabah.