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Decentralise is the way forward

AN international Olympic university? Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
On paper it may seem so. Russian President Vladimir Putin had on Monday declared open the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi, while admitting there are "ongoing glitches" in the build-up to next year's Winter Olympics.
The varsity runs special training courses for Russian regional sports leaders and aims to educate the nation’s former athletes.
Talk of us establishing a similar varsity for athletes cropped up not too long ago — just like the recent 'dream' of Malaysia organising the Olympic Games despite having yet to host the Asian Games and taking more than a decade to close the 1998 Commonwealth Games accounts.
Former KL mayor Tan Sri Elyas Omar had in the past drawn up a plan for the nation's first university for athletes but it was shelved. Now, apparently, there is talk of a prominent figure planning to revisit Elyas' blueprint in a bid to set up a similar institution.
While Russia may see it viable to set up such an institution, our current system of athletes pursuing studies in selected public and private institutions is rather ideal. Why the need to limit one institution when existing universities can be part of the support system to our athletes pursuing their education?
Instead of being fixated on the concept of ‘centralisation’, universities would be able to lure top athletes as this could indirectly boost sports within its grounds.
PREMIER SUPPORT: Russian president Vladimir Putin signing a guestbook in the university building's lobby before declaring the institution open in Sochi on Monday
This would promise better competition between varsities. Ideally, varsities ought to open their doors to members of the public through weekend clinics to encourage the participation of the community in sports.
This would naturally see the development of more facilities and ensure sports reach a wider spectrum of society. Of course, our athletes would be required to pass a minimum mark or they could be sidelined from the team until they buck up. This would ensure their education is not compromised.
Several universities in Malaysia have strong links to sports. Universiti Sains Malaysia is known for its sports science work, Universiti Putra Malaysia is where most of our student-athletes pursue their degrees while Help University College is among the private institutions offering scholarships to outstanding athletes.
Let’s do away with the 'centralised' mentality and encourage all institutions of higher learning and organisations, in general, to be part of the sports family. This will surely create a healthy society.
Haresh Deol is a news editor
with The Malay Mail.
Banter with him
or on Twitter @HareshDeol


  1. Before uni, buckle up the sekolah sukan(s) and all the majlis sukan(s) first - at all levels! It may be easy to build or create one, but maintaining and keeping it progressive is something not really happenning well here in my beloved country.

  2. We don't need to establish a new university. Just add the courses and set-up the faculty within the existing one's. Why waste peoples money when we're lacking in so many ways and areas involving human capital development - everybody need to look at the bigger picture - don't get carried away and SHOK SENDIRI

    The work culture and limited knowledge among the fellow Malaysian, involved in sports, on all aspects, doesn't help either.

    There are many sports philosophies from developed country for us to adapt or follow. But, are we knowledgeable enough to understand and identify the required one, to follow and apply in our "gone for good sporting culture?"
    Talking about, philosophies, China seem to stand out not only for the good reason, but also for the bad one's. Besides that, other powerful sporting countries like America, Australia, Russia, Germany are also good sports philosophers - I'm sure we all knew, the torture like training regime which produced world bitters for China.- Can Malaysian, subscribe to the Chinese ways??

    We need to embrace and routinized these philosophies into our work and sporting culture, before we can even think of other areas.( setting up institutions )
    We don't want a institution, which can only produce regional champions. We want more than that.- Are we up to it.?? Lets, do some serious research work, before we want to come up with great ideas, with out the right philosophies.

    HSKL says: One must not forget the roots of mankind.- All praises for God the Almighty. .


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