NSC turns 50 today. Should it be around for another 50 years?
The National Sports Council (NSC) turns 50 today. Happy anniversary!
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican was quoted by Harian Metro as saying:
"Sementara kita berbangga dengan sejarah lalu, kita perlu mencipta lebih banyak cerita kejayaan dan nama-nama baru di tinta emas dalam bidang sukan.
"Perencana dan pencetus 'prime mover' kepada keseluruhan ini tentu sekali terletak di bahu MSN (NSC)."
So what exactly is NSC's role? Has it evolved for the better or worse? And more importantly, do we really need such a government agency?
If you are at NSC's site, make sure you click next to Maklumat Am (general information) and slide to the left. Otherwise, you'd see an "Oops! Nothing Found". If I was NSC, I'd actually rectify that.
If you click on Sejarah (history), I believe some paragraphs are missing. Or perhaps it's my machine is not high tech enough to read the fonts. Oh well.
And more importantly, let's look at NSC's objectives.
To me, objectives two (2) and four (4) should rest with the national sports associations (NSAs).
But here's the thing, NSAs in Malaysia seem to be overly dependent on the NSC - for money, to manage the sport and some to the extent of helping them structure programmes.
If they actually stood on their own feet, they wouldn't really need NSC's support now, would they?
As such, NSC needs a whole lot of money to operate.
It receives funding from government and annual contribution from a lottery company (Berjaya Sports Toto contributes an average of RM30 to RM40 million) to fund athletes, fund programmes, fund experts and maintain facilities.
This is where the problem lies.
In 2012, this blog highlighted 'A study of two successful Australian Sports: Swimming and Basketball as a model for developing and building Malaysia’s national sports associations' which was compiled by Dr John Williams and Peter de Souza.
The Australians said NSC is seen to be “generous” in funding and is too fixated on winning medals.
2012 was also the year where I spent seven days in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne and met sports and tourism officials there.
Speaking about funds, I am reminded me of the legal issue with regards to the three-stripe national jersey. I wonder how much was spent, if any, on legal fees?
Ironically, after plenty of drama, the jersey was replaced with a new one. I still wonder till today if the whole effort was worthwhile.
So do we need NSC? If things remain the same, NSC will be around for another 50 years. If that's to be, I I hope it will also start thinking about sports for all.
Otherwise, NSC can start encouraging NSAs to take lead and slowly work its way towards playing a more supporting role behind the scenes.
Will that ever happen? Well ... I have my doubts.