Friday, May 20, 2005

OCM STEP FORWARD (20/05/2005 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 20/05/2005
Page Number : 42

IT is indeed sad the task of instilling a sporting culture among
Malaysians has fallen on the shoulders of the Olympic Council of Malaysia
At their 7th Annual Conference the theme was Towards a Sustainable
National Sports Culture and OCM have undertook the task of educating the
Establishing a sports culture in the country was first given prominence
by the Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Azalina Othman, in the wake of
poor performances of Malaysian athletes, especially after the 2004
Soon it became a national agenda with the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Najib Razak, who is also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee of
Sports saying: "Sports have now become an important part of the national
agenda. Malaysians need to take sports seriously but lack a sports
culture and the proper enabling environment".
The conference was to get feedback from the public and sports
Although about 70 turned up for the conference last Saturday, it was
sad to note a majority of the sports policy makers were missing.
Their absence underlined one aspect of Malaysian sports culture - the
tidak apa attitude.
However, the presence of several members of the public, including
people like Andrew Gopal, the president of Ulu Kelang Recreation Club
(UKRC), a community-based club, gave hope there are still people out
there who take sports seriously and are passionate about it.
The conference itself saw a healthy exchange of ideas from the
participants with OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar concluding the
sporting fraternity have a duty to ensure the benefits of participation
of sports are made known both to the parents as well as the youths of
Towards this objective, the OCM are contemplating conducting road shows
throughout the nation to educate the public on the importance of
participation in sports as well as the benefits available to those who
excel in sports.
OCM are going to study the resolutions put forward by the delegates and
prepare the recommendations to be submitted to the Sports Ministry.
The paper presented by OCM deputy president, Datuk Dr M. Jega- thesan
on the vision for a sports culture that is sustainable gave many answers
and also provoked thoughts of the participants.
Questions like what sports structure can help development of a national
sports culture, how educational programmes and physical activities help
sports to be integrated into the cultural practices of the country were
put forward.
Whether parents (especially mothers) can be also be encouraged to play
an active role in the development of a national sports culture and what
positive role should they play were among the questions asked and
discussed at the conference.
While some answers were found, many were left to see a change in the
attitude of the public towards sports before a move forward can be made.
OCM have taken the step to lead and do their part.
But whether we are prepared to be work hard at the goal and be patient
for it to set in will be the million ringgit question.
For all we know, this sports culture campaign could well be over before
we know it, especially with sports associations not really keen.
Schools and sports associations are the pulse and beat of grassroots
development and if there is no concerted effort from this area, it is
going to take a long time before it takes off.
Thus, schools and sports associations should take a firm stand on
whether they are serious about this sports culture or are just going with
the flow.
Otherwise, it will be a waste of time and effort, just like the
conference by OCM.

No comments: