Skip to main content

Searching for the next champion

"Malaysia needs more sports icons who are able to inspire the nation, especially the young generation."

Those were the words of Prime Minister Najib Razak while he was on radio station Melody FM yesterday.

It was only natural for Astro Awani's Kamarul Bahrin to zoom into the quote as it turned into a topic of discussion -  Mencari Ikon Sukan (Seraching for the Sports Icon) - on Agenda Awani (channel 501) last night.

Present on the show were Olympic Council of Malaysia council member and a man that needs no introduction in the national cycling federation Naim Mohamad and UiTM's Science and Recreation Faculty senior lecturer Sadek Mustaffa.

The guests agreed it was difficult to churn another Lee Chong Wei or Nicol David (pic). But there is a need to ensure the gap between the best and the rest is not as wide as it is today.

They also agreed it simply boiled down to grassroots development.

Naim said;

"It's a long process to search for world champions but we need to strive to find talents and start planting the seeds, hopefully they will grow healthy. We need to find small icons - in classrooms, residential areas and even villages.

"But our constraint is that we don't have enough experienced people to scout for such talents. We need to plan ahead and ensure such resources are readily available."

Sadek, meanwhile, had this to say;

"It is hoped the 1Student 1 Sport policy is taken seriously strengthened by the presences of well trained Physical Education teachers. Sadly, only 60% are trained PE teachers while the remaining 40% are just filling in for the period."

And their solution?

Naim believes there should be more emphasis of sports especially at our universities.

Sadek, meanwhile, challenged if anyone dares to suggest to the Education Minister (who is also the Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin) that every Wednesday (or at least once a month) be made into a physical activity day where students take part in sports or extra-curricular activities throughout the day.

"Varsity students pick up seven subjects in a semester and they have no time to play sports. Some scholars are also not in agreement as some are very academic centric while forgetting the social aspect," he added.

The conversations will continue as they have in the past. Who is willing to step up and make the changes? Till then, we will continue our search for the next Chong Wei or Nicol.

HD says: There needs to be commitment from everyone - from the child, parents, teachers, policy makers and the community.


  1. Parent's do need to play a key role too. They should reduce time spend with the kids in shopping complex. Or should we bring sports into shopping complex?

  2. Don't blame the parents as the authorities are more concerned in building shopping complex and white elephants(some on public playing fields) than sports complex /facilities.

  3. Sadek's comment on only 60% are trained PE teachers while the remaining 40% are just filling in for the period." Hope that as an academician he could back up with empirical data to support his claim.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What went wrong with KL SEA Games?

145 gold medals.
It's the best Team Malaysia has ever achieved since the inception of the SEAP Games in1959.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur ended yesterday. The opening ceremony dazzled those at the stands and viewers at home while the performances during the closing ceremony yesterday jogged plenty of musical memories to many.
Our athletes, the real superheroes, brought smiles through their heroic display. They made everyday a happy day.
Kudos to the officials - from the coaches, the National Sports Institute and National Sports Council - for their hard work in ensuring our athletes perform to their best.
But it was not all memorable.

'World fashion disaster' in KL

World Fashion Week Asia 2017 ended over the weekend.

And the launch on Friday at Palace of the Golden Horses at Mines Resort City just outside Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a forgettable night.


It was poorly organised.

Just as many are trying to get over the nightmare witnessed throughout the KL SEA Games, the organiser of World Fashion Week Asia 2017 has made it look like Malaysians seem to have lost it when it comes to hosting major events and hospitality.

Here's why.

Royal protocol ignored

1. The Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah was invited to grace the event.
    a. There was no holding room for the Sultanah and VIPs accompanying her.
    b. The Sultanah was invited on stage without anyone accompanying her there (a big NO NO if anyone knows protocol involving royalty).
    c. The event dragged on till 11.30pm, way past the cut off point of the very many events I've attended with members of the royal family present.
   d. The Sultanah was forced to walk all t…

Klang run 'illegal', says Sports Commissioner

UPDATE (Dec 11; 11.58am): Sporting events approved by Sports Commissioner's Office will be posted on the Youth and Sports Ministry's website starting Dec 14, as revealed by the Sports Commissioner in her statement today. I'm glad the last point of my observation (as per posting right below) has been addressed.


UPDATE (10.57pm): A Twitter user had sent me a link by the organiser of the Klang Heritage Marathon 2017. It states that the marathon has been "postponed to Oct 14, 2018" and that they have been victims of fake news and will lodge reports with the authorities against materials with elements of defamation or fake news. Read the full statement, posted on Dec 2, here.


A Klang City International Marathon 2017 pacer suffered serious injuries after she and two others were hit by a car

Turns out that the organiser of this morning's event, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, DID NOT submit any application to the Sports Commissioner&#…