KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) are planning to spend RM3mil to shift their SEA Games training base from Bukit Jalil here to Ranau, Sabah.
MAAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim said that national athletes had been training in various parts of Kuala Lumpur for more than a century since the MAAU were established in 1906.
“The time has come for us to shift the training base to East Malaysia as we strive to produce better results in the SEA Games, which will be held in Indonesia from Nov 11-25.
“Lately, athletes training in Bukit Jalil have failed to win medals in competitions like the New Delhi Commonwealth and Guangzhou Asian Games because there is too much entertainment in KL,” Karim told a press conference at the MAAU office here yesterday.
“We picked Ranau for various reasons. It’s suitable for high altitude training and has all the facilities, including a newly-laid track.
“Besides, it’s a quite place and away from town, thus making it a good place for athletes to concentrate on their training.”
Karim said that they submitted their plans to train in Ranau to the National Sports Council (NSC) last month (Dec 10).
“However, they have not replied to us,” said Karim, who expects the cost to train in Ranau to be about RM3mil.
“We will look for sponsors if the NSC do not support us financially for shifting the training base to Ranau.”
The MAAU’s four-phase training programme will be from the end of this month to April.
“We expect about 50 athletes to train in Ranau by the end of January,” said Karim.