30pc of athletes competing in Sea Games are students
KUALA LUMPUR: Almost a third of the athletes in the Malaysian contingent competing in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Sea Games are students of institutions higher learning.
This fulfils the target set by the government in its Sports Development Policy in grooming local sports talent via higher learning institutions.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh revealed that 264, or 30.4 per cent, of the 874 athletes in the contingent, were students.
Idris said this in a speech read by his deputy, Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, at a Jalur Gemilang flag handover ceremony, that was also a symbolic send-off for student athletes, who will be participating in the World University Games (Universiade) 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan.
“Our contingent this time is smaller than previous years as the dates of the Universiade coincides with the Sea Games.
“Nevertheless, we are confident that the athletes will make Malaysia proud,” said Idris.
Previously, Malaysia won three bronze medals at the Universiade Kazan 2013 and two bronze medals at the Universiade Gwang ju 2015.
“The Universiade is good exposure for these student athletes as this is where they will be able to prove their sporting abilities among 200 participating countries.
“Through their participation in the Universiade, we hope that it serves as a platform for these athletes to ready themselves for more international-level sporting events,” he said.
The Malaysian contingent will be led by Professor Datuk Dr Abdullah Mohamad Said and 29 officials.
“We are aiming for a bronze medal each in the six sporting events represented by our athletes,” he said.
The Malaysian contingent will leave for Taipei on Aug 14.