KUALA LUMPUR: The estimated RM490mil to build the sports training centre in London is a projection of the total cost the government will spend over the next 10 years and is not the figure for building the infrastructure, said National Sports Council (NSC) director Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz yesterday.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said announced on Monday that the Cabinet Committee on Sports chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had approved the project to build a sports training centre on government land in Brickendonburym, 24km from the proposed site of the 2012 London Olympics Village.
In elaborating on the matter, Ramlan said the costs would include the expenses on food, training of athletes and coaches.
“The centre would serve as a forward base for our best athletes competing in Europe. Instead of them having to come back in between competitions those based overseas on long-term training stints, can stay at the centre.
“There is already one big field at present, which is especially useful for endurance training. We plan to develop the site with facilities suitable for the our best athletes to train,” said Ramlan.
The Malaysian Rubber Board owns the current site located at Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in London.
The squash players were the first to utilise the centre from June 24 to July 3.
The national archery team is currently based there and there are plans to send the badminton and football team for stints there in the future.
The idea of a forward base (a military concept whereby it is best to get acquainted to a similar environment in order to be equipped to take on the opposition) is not something new. The Australian cyclists have a similar arrangement whereby they train in Italy prior to major meets.