A joint effort needed to transform Malaysian sports


KUALA LUMPUR: Let’s work together – that’s the earnest plea of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to the Malaysian sports fraternity.

Khairy launched a new sport model in a bid to transform Malaysian sports and he said it will only work if the stakeholders work hand in hand and execute it effectively at all levels.

“We are left behind (in the sports world) but we cannot make changes overnight. We have to start somewhere. We start today, together on the same page with a common goal,” said Khairy.

Khairy added that his ministry had come out with a new model based on a finding from an 11-week study conducted by five key people – Brian Miller (Australia), Phil Borgeaud (Australia), Roslyn Carbon (Britain), Richard Charlesworth (Australia) and Alan Black (Australia) – since November.

The study was conducted after Malaysia failed miserably at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

The findings concluded that Malaysia failed because of three main reasons – lack of a common goal by all the stakeholders, lack of accountability and commitment and a resistance to change.

“We have the potential but we do not have the right processes. That has resulted in the lack of results from our athletes,” said Khairy.

“The population of Finland (about 5.4 million) is smaller than us, but they have won a total of 101 gold medals in 24 Olympic Games. The Finns know how to optimise the potential of their athletes by getting the processes right,” added Khairy.

Khairy hoped that through the drastic changes Malaysia would show improvement at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 Asian Games and eventually win an elusive gold medal at the Olympic Games. 

“Without a target, all these changes mean nothing. Our goals are to become a top-10 nation at the next Commonwealth Games and Asiad. We will host the SEA Games in 2017 and we hope to win 50% of the medals from all the events we compete in,” said Khairy.

Khairy said he had also formed a command and control committee, to be headed by him, to monitor the progress of every party on a quarterly basis.

“We have also formed a task force to come out with a blueprint of the overall new programme within 100 days,” added Khairy.

 

WEAKNESSES IDENTIFIED BY THE STUDY

National Sports Council (NSC): Weak yearly periodization plan, facilities at the hostels and food, low coaching quality.

National Sports Institute (NSI): Lack of sports science experts, lack of medical facilities for athletes, athletes’ development programme not specific enough.

National Sports Associations (NSAs): Lack of long-term strategic planning, lack of full-time officials, inefficiency in managing funds.

Sports Commissioner: Lack of clarity in interpretation of rules, too much focus on non-relevant issues.

 
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