Pro­mot­ing in­ter­est in sports among stu­dents

New Straits Times - - News - BALQIS LIM PU­TRA­JAYA are other sport-re­lated ca­reer op­tions.

PU­TRA­JAYA: The field of sports is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among the younger gen­er­a­tion with more stu­dents tak­ing part in var­i­ous types of ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry Sports Di­vi­sion di­rec­tor Dr Me­han­der Singh said ven­tur­ing into sports has been recog­nised as hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on stu­dents.

Dr Me­han­der said sports served not just as a leisure ac­tiv­ity or to en­sure good health but could pro­vide many vi­able ca­reer op­tions closely linked with other pro­fes­sions to stu­dents.

“For suc­cess­ful ath­letes, sports can pro­vide a lu­cra­tive in­come com­men­su­rate with the level of their achieve­ment. Ex­am­ples would be na­tional he­roes Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Ni­col David who were known around the world.

“Maybe only a few of us are able to

“Many do not re­alise that there is a big ca­reer scope in sports with many op­tions for peo­ple of all ages in­clud­ing in busi­ness, man­age­ment and coach­ing,” he said.

At present, there are five Mala­y­sis­ports


Bukit Jalil for the Klang Val­ley, Pa­hang and Tereng­ganu for the east coast, Jo­hor for the south­ern re­gion and Sabah for East Malaysia. e in­istry, he said, was also in en­ti­fy­ing a state sports a to add to the 15


As at Feb 28, there are 1,789 stu­dents in­clud­ing pri­mary, sec­ondary and pre-univer­sity en­rolled in na­tional sports school na­tion­wide, he added.

Dr Me­han­der said the gov­ern­ment pro­vided ca­reer paths for ath­letes after they fin­ished their Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia ex­am­i­na­tion.

“For stu­dents who want to pur­sue pre-univer­sity cour­ses, the gov­ern­ment, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Univer­siti Pu­tra Malaysia, Univer­siti Te­knologi Malaysia, Univer­siti Malaysia Pa­hang and Univer­siti Malaysia Sabah pro­vides learn­ing pro­grammes catered for ath­letes.

“Some of the stu­dents go to In­sti­tut Pen­didikan Guru, a higher in­sti­tu­tion spe­cially cho­sen to train fu­ture teach­ers at pri­mary school level.

“Those pur­su­ing their ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion can opt for pub­lic or pri­vate higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions, poly­tech­nics, and com­mu­nity col­leges,” he said.

Among for­mer ath­letes who have pur­sued other ca­reers were gym­nas­tics queen Dur­ratun Nasi­hin Rosli, who is now a gym­nas­tics coach in Aus­tralia and squash star Mohd Azlan Iskandar, who now runs a events com­pany be­sides his own squash academy.

Dr Me­han­der said the em­pha­sis on sports among stu­dents through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the One Stu­dent One Sport pro­gramme and many other pro­grammes at a higher level helped spur in­ter­est in sports.

He said the suc­cess of sports de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes im­ple­mented in schools not only de­pended on the teacher, but par­ents also played a proac­tive role in en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren to en­gage in sports.

The Sports Di­vi­sion holds Tal­ent Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and De­vel­op­ment pro­gramme to iden­tify tal­ents through each states’ ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments, district ed­u­ca­tion of­fice and also na­tional sports as­so­ci­a­tions.

While some peo­ple say sports can lead to aca­demic ne­glect, Dr Me­han­der said the min­istry al­ways en­sured that stu­dents did not fall be­hind in their stud­ies.

“If they go abroad for train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion, the school man­age­ment will co­op­er­ate with the as­so­ci­a­tion to al­low teach­ers to fol­low suit.

“If that is not fea­si­ble, we will use other mea­sures such as pro­vid­ing mod­ules for stu­dents, and re­quest­ing that their coaches en­sure that the ath­letes’ aca­demics be given fo­cus too,” he added.

To this end, he said the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry strives to pro­duce suc­cess­ful ath­letes in line with the gov­ern­ment’s as­pi­ra­tion to strike a bal­ance be­tween sports and aca­demics.

He said the main ob­jec­tive is to en­sure that all stu­dent ath­letes ben­e­fited and were given the op­por­tu­nity to shape the out­comes of world-class ath­letes.

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