Na­tional sports school for the north

New Straits Times - - News -

KULIM: The Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry is es­tab­lish­ing a sports school in the north­ern re­gion to sup­port the na­tional agenda of nur­tur­ing fu­ture world-class tal­ents.

Its min­is­ter, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, said it was part of the min­istry’s ef­fort to pro­duce fu­ture ath­letes to com­pete with Asian sports pow­er­houses, such as South Korea and Thai­land, which had pro­duced world-class sports icons.

Cit­ing South Korea, Mahdzir said the coun­try has pro­duced 35 women golfers who were among the top 100 in the sport, while Thai­land had also pro­duced world-class golfers and ten­nis play­ers.

“We (Malaysia) are proud of our world-class ath­letes, such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei (bad­minton) and Datuk Ni­col David (squash). Be­sides that, we are also proud of Pan­delela Ri­nong’s achieve­ments (div­ing) in the Olympic games.

“That is why I wish to es­tab­lish a na­tional sports school for the north­ern re­gion, prefer­ably in Kedah, be­cause we have a state-level sports school only.”

Mahdzir said the min­istry would dis­cuss the mat­ter with the Fi­nance Min­istry and the Eco­nomic Plan­ning Unit (EPU). He said the min­istry would pro­pose con­vert­ing an ex­ist­ing school in­stead of build­ing a new one.

“It will take time and money to build a new school, so we are look­ing at con­vert­ing an ex­ist­ing school into a sports school for the north­ern re­gion,” he said af­ter launch­ing the state’s na­tional ten­nis de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme at SMK Ta­man Je­lu­tong here yes­ter­day.

Present were Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry Sports Di­vi­sion di­rec­tor Dr Me­han­der Singh and Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia vi­cepres­i­dent Datuk Mo­hamad Tau­fik Omar.

Mean­while, Kedah Sports Coun­cil di­rec­tor Mohd Rizal Mohd Radzi lauded Mahdzir’s an­nounce­ment.

He said the north ws the only re­gion that had yet to have a na­tional-stan­dard sports school, and the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry’s plan to es­tab­lish one for the re­gion would be highly ap­pre­ci­ated.

“The sports school will be a cat­a­lyst in nur­tur­ing sports tal­ents from the north­ern states based on the type of sports to be de­cided by the min­istry.”

Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid

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