National sports school for the north
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