KUALA LUMPUR: Good news for the sports fraternity as the government has allocated a whopping RM533mil in the Budget 2020 and the icing on the cake is that women athletes have finally been given due recognition for their contribution.
A total of RM179mil will go towards preparing our athletes for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, 2021 Hanoi SEA Games and also for the development of para athletes.
An amount of RM299mil is allocated to implement the Sports For All programmes which includes the upgrading of sports facilities, youth and sports complexes and community sports venues throughout the country.
A total of RM45mil will go towards the National Football Development Programme, an increase of RM30mil from last year’s budget.
The government is also happy with the progress shown by women athletes like squash legend Datuk Nicol David, world diving champion Cheong Jun Hoong, Olympic diving silver medallist Pandelela Rinong and gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi.
And the government has decided RM10mil will be allocated to promote women in sports.
National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail was delighted with the budget boost.
“It’s clear that the Budget 2020 want the national sports community to beef up our preparations towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, especially in the pursuit of our first Olympics gold medal.
“Although it looks tough, we will double up our efforts to achieve the goal, ” said Shapawi.
“This budget would also ensure an ongoing effort that goes beyond the 2021 Hanoi SEA Games as we aim to progress towards the 2022 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and build a solid foundation to get more athletes to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“This allocation will be utilised to secure sport science, sport medicine and technology supports from the National Sports Institute, besides also helping to further strengthen the back-up programmes for able-bodied as well as the para athletes at state level, ” added Shapawi.
Olympic Council Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria gave the budget the thumbs up.
“The RM179mil will give athletes who have yet to qualify for the Olympics more opportunities to continue chasing for a ticket by participating in major tournaments.
“At the moment eight have qualified for Tokyo but there are a number of athletes who are still going through the qualifying process like badminton and cycling, ” said Norza.
“Secondly, immediately after the Philippines SEA Games, there is already an allocation to start preparing for Hanoi 2021.
“It is good for athletes as we want them to continue their momentum to train for the next Games.
“I think the RM10mil for women in sports is also a good motivation for young women athletes to excel in the international arena, ” added Norza.
This budget would also ensure an ongoing effort that goes beyond the 2021 Hanoi SEA Games as we aim to progress towards the 2022 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games...Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail