'NSI is not a clinic'

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin does not want the National Sports Institute (NSI) to be viewed as a “clinic”.

On Thursday, Khairy expressed his happiness over the increased involvement of Malaysian coaches and athletes in sports science and medicine but he hoped that the NSI would not be just considered as a place to get treated for injuries.

“We are happy that more coaches and athletes are receptive to sports science approaches,” said Khairy after launching the Asian Federation of Sports Medicine Congress at the Berjaya Times Square Convention Centre.

Last year, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei recovered in just 65 days from a bad ankle injury to win a silver medal at the London Olympic Games, thanks to the NSI doctors and physiotherapists.

“It has to be more than just a place to get treated for injuries or work out at the gymnasium. Coaches and athletes can use the NSI services for meticulous planning in terms of performance.

“It is a comprehensive preparation centre for them – physically and mentally. We have to give concerted effort and attention to sports science and medicine.”

And with Khairy’s commitment to sports science in a bid to enhance the performances of coaches and athletes from all levels, he will make a request to increase the operating budget.

“Currently, the budget for NSI is RM30mil. This does not include the amount of RM17mil for the Road to Rio programme. We are trying to increase it as requested by NSI’s Datuk Dr Ramlan (Aziz, chief executive officer). The field is constantly changing and there is a need to get the best services,” said Khairy.

The amount would be revealed after the Finance Ministry approves it.

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