More sports get the go-ahead albeit a new normal

Time to rejoice: The Malaysian bowling team will head back to the alley once they get approval from the National Sports Council.

PETALING JAYA: The green light given by the government for the sporting and recreational sector is set to put Malaysian sports back on track.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his announcement yesterday on the recovery movement control order (MCO) phase from June 10 to Aug 31, sees several restrictions on sporting activities lifted.

Teams are now allowed to train and conduct preparations, non-contact sporting activities without fans are now allowed, however, sporting activities that involve mass gathering, swimming, and public swimming pools are still banned.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican who spearheaded the move to get sporting events to resume with approval from the National Security Council (NSC), hopes the good news will benefit the sporting communities.

He added that a more detailed explanation of the standard operating procedures (SOP) for sporting activities would be announced by him and the Senior Minister (security cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.

“These announcements which loosen the restrictions on sporting activities shows that the country is ready for sports,” said Reezal in a statement.

“A number of initiatives and SOPs for sporting activities from overseas were studied and the views of the NSC and Health Ministry were also considered. More measures will be implemented in stages with the cooperation of all parties.

“I hope this good news will be beneficial to our sports communities and sports industry in general.”

Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) secretary-general Maradona Chok lauded the move but said they needed more details before hitting the alley.

“We will liaise with the National Sports Council (NSC) on Tuesday to find out when we can get everyone back in training,” he said.

“We are excited and and looking forward to returning to the lanes once we get the approval.”

National recurve archer Haziq Kamaruddin can’t wait to train outdoors after months of training at home.

“Finally! I just can’t wait to be back at the range and get cracking again. I have been training indoors at my (archery equipment) shop, but nothing beats outdoor archery and shooting from the 70m standard Olympic range.”

Meanwhile, national shooter Johnathan Wong felt the training at home felt unnatural, and returning to the shooting range makes training complete.

“It feels good in a way that we can go back to training soon. We were stuck at home during the MCO, so now we can at least go back to our daily routine, which is better.

“We have done a lot of video sessions via Zoom to keep us glued to the sport, but it is still not as complete as how you would do things at the range,” said the Olympian.

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