Sports Development For Wealth Of Talent Trumps Playing Host - Shapawi

23/03/2024 04:22 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 (Bernama) -- Former National Sports Council (MSN) director Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail welcomes the government's desire to focus on sports development, after declining an offer to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

He is of the view that the development of sports at an internal level is more important in ensuring there is no dearth of local talents in Malaysia.

According to him, the problem of insufficient participation of athletes in an event at a sports meet to the extent that the event is cancelled, like the Malaysia Games (Sukma),  needs to be given serious attention.

"What is important right now is to ensure the development of athletes can be done more aggressively and more balanced between states.

"This is to ensure there is continuity in the production of athletes, which will improve the local competitive environment in producing a wealth of new talents," he told Bernama.

He said the problem of a lack of athletes at the Sukma level is a serious matter that requires an integrated approach by stakeholders at the school, higher education institutions and the state government levels.

"All states should have a State Sports School which is equivalent to the Malaysian Sports School by now. Weak state sports bodies will inhibit the development of athletes at this grassroots level.

"It would be better if more allocations are provided to help the development of integrated sports at every age level so that they can represent the country later," he said.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), in a statement, said that  Malaysia has rejected the offer by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

It said the decision was made at a Cabinet after considering all aspects of hosting the Games and their implications.

According to the statement, the economic impact of hosting the quadrennial Games could not be identified in the short term and the MADANI Government wants to focus on sports development and the welfare and well-being of the people for now.

The Malaysian government, however, expressed its appreciation to the CGF for offering it the chance to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The CGF has offered Malaysia to host the Games,  while also offering a 100 million pound (RM603 million) fund to Malaysia, which had hosted in 1998 to replace Australia.

 Australia withdrew from hosting it due to the increase in the organising costs, from the initial expectation of AUD2.6 billion (about RM8.09 billion) to AUD7 billion (about RM21.78 billion).