Promoting interest in sports among students
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.