Bigger role? No problem, say NSI

KUALA LUMPUR: Will the National Sports Institute (NSI) be biting more than they can chew?

On Thursday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin decided that the NSI must handle more responsibilities under the new sports model to transform Malaysian sports.

NSI’s board chairman Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria lauded the move and are excited to be given a bigger role. He admitted that it will be a great challenge but one that they relished.

“We welcome the minister’s announcement, which is very visionary. We are ready to move forward to assume these responsibilities so that we can find the solution to take Malaysian sports to a higher level,” said Norza after chairing the NSI’s first board meeting this year.

NSI will now handle the Podium Programme, where elite athletes will enjoy the best sports science support. The NSI will also take charge of the National Coaching Academy (NCA).

Currently, the NSI have about 70 sports scientists whose field range from physiology, conditioning, biomechanics, performances analysis and nutrition at their headquarters in Bukit Jalil.

The number is relatively small compared to their counterparts in Australia. At the Western Australia Institute of Sports (WAIS), they have 20 experts alone in the physiology department.

Norza said that a separate meeting would be held on March 5 to look into the shortage of human resource and other aspects to facilitate their new responsibilities.

“Traditionally, our core task at the NSI is related to sports science, sports medical and sports technology. On top of that, we also have TID (Talent Identification Development) programme,” said Norza.

“We have tasked our officers on a fact-finding mission in the next two weeks. We need to increase the sports science experts and our equipments.

“All these can be accomplished in due time. Ultimately, we want the athletes to enjoy the best support to achieve success at the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games,” he said.

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