THE National Sports Council (NSC) are seen to be “generous” in funding and are too fixated on winning medals.
The findings of the report – A study of two successful Australian Sports: Swimming and Basketball as a model for developing and building Malaysia’s national sports associations – compiled by Australians Dr John Williams and Peter de Souza also revealed that there is lack of professional management within the NSAs and lack of funding at the grassroots.
The study, which was conducted last month, was supported by the Commonwealth of Australia through the Australia-Malaysia Institute (AMI) and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
The report compared the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) and the Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) with the Swimming Australia Limited (SAL) and Basketball Australia (BA) respectively.
On the subject of pathways for coaches (page 5), the report read;
“The NSC needs to address this issue. At present it has fallen into the trap of providing generous funding for the recruitment of foreign coaches (when locals might be just as competent) to coach elite national athletes, on the assumption these foreign coaches will produce world champions.
The NSC has also been investing generously for some elite athletes to live and train overseas and provide them with an additional allowance to meet the expenses of foreign coaches.”
The report added that “the mindset should be phased out” so that money can be channeled to the recruitment of local coaches and coaching development.
This includes moving away from the all-year-round centralized training camps to ‘camp-based’ model whereby athletes are only gathered two to four weeks prior a meet and that the national coach will then monitor the athletes by visiting them at their respective clubs or states.
In another observation, the report (page 33) said;
“Despite the NSC Act stating the NSC is responsible for the development of NSAs from ‘Sport or All’ through to elite athletic performance, there appears to be a significantly greater emphasis on winning medals on the international stage as opposed to developing ‘Sport for All’. Under such a funding discrepancy, any success at the international level would be short term glory coming at the expense of developing strong participation at the grassroots level.”
Williams and de Souza, had in the report, state they were unable to hold any discussions with NSC and were in no position "to make any judgement or comment further".
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had last year, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian government in a bid to foster closer ties in sporting matters. Nevertheless, there has not been any proper communication from the Malaysian government since.
Australian Sports Commission senior sport for development consultant (international sport development) Martin Roberts confirmed there has not been any communication between both countries since the MoU was signed and was unaware of the study by Williams and de Souza.
“We didn’t send anyone over. Perhaps it came from another government body," said Roberts, when met at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra last week.
HD says: Hmmm...