30pc of ath­letes com­pet­ing in Sea Games are stu­dents

New Straits Times - - News -

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.

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