KUALA LUMPUR: Same old problems and issues in Malaysian sports were highlighted during a two-day National Sports Convention, which ended yesterday at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
But this time, there were promises of new approaches and fresh starts to deal with them in a bid to steer Malaysian sport in the right direction. At least, that was the assurance given by Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said that a special task force would be formed to look into the resolutions made by various groups from the Malaysian sports fraternity.
“These resolutions will require short, medium and long-term planning. And a special task force will look into them. Some of the suggestions will be drafted into our National Sports Policy, which will be out as soon,” he s aid.
“I am pleased that there were different opinions and ideas from so many people who gathered here. This is all done for the good of sports. Let the changes begin here and today.”
It was the first convention held in 12 years.
And Ismail’s immediate decisions yesterday were to make the convention an annual affair and transform the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex into a Sports City.
With some upgrading work, the Bukit Jalil area will become a one-stop sports centre. It will have a museum, sports equipment shops and resource centres.
Among the other key resolutions are to redefine the roles of schools and universities and to foster better links among the various ministries — sports, education and housing.
There were proposals for the sports schools in the country to come under the jurisdiction of the Sports Ministry so that more emphasis will be given to sports. Currently, the sports schools come under the purview of the Education Ministry with priority given to academic excellence.
There were also suggestions for schools in the country to engage physical educators, who will give focus solely on physical education lessons and coaching the students in sports.
The drop in student involvement in sports at the universities were also debated. One of the solutions was to form a sport university while some wanted the current universities to revive their sports culture.
The other suggestions include choosing sports with the potential to win medals at the next Olympics in London in 2012; strengthening the training and coaching programme; setting realistic targets; promoting sports for all activities; reviews and evaluation of sports based on meritocracy; strengthening the roles of the National Sports Institute (NSI), national sports associations and the media.
The Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) president, Datuk Dr Zakaria Ahmad, who was one of the moderators, summed up the convention in a nutshell.
“We are here to find out whether we have got it right or wrong. If we got it wrong, we want to find out why we got it wrong and where we can work on improving,” he said.
Highlights of the resolutions
> Identification of badminton, archery, cycling, diving, shooting, yachting and hockey as the sports with medal potential at the 2012 London Olympics.
> Plans for a sport university.
> To rebrand the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex to Sports City. To be a one-stop centre for sports.
> Develop a blueprint — a coordinated effort among all agencies (Ministry of Sports, Education, Housing etc).
> To expedite the sports science approaches in all states.
> To implement quickly the “star rating” method to review national sports associations.
> To change jurisdiction of the sports schools from the Education Ministry t o the Sports Ministry.
> The National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institute (NSI) to work as one and not act as two separate statutory bodies.
> To ensure that physical educators in the schools are responsible for only physical education lessons and coaching purposes.
> The National Sports Act and National Sports Policy to be reviewed so that it will be friendly to national associations.