Monday, May 8, 2006

Sukma poised for new directions (2006 - Malaysian Today)

Sukma poised for new directions

THE Sukma (Malaysia Games) should be taking a new dimension with some positive changes expected to take place to take the youth Games to the next level after the OCM-NSC Annual Sports Conference last Saturday at the OCM Indoor Sports Complex.
After the Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk’ Azalina Othman Said in her opening address in the morning had paved the path for “no holds barred” conference when she boldly asked the participants, if they were ready to make changes to take the Games to the next level after 20 years eleven editions and ten hosts.
The fact that she provoked the participants who comprised National Sports Council, Olympic Council of Malaysia, State Sports Councils, National Sports Associations and State Government Sports Governors, that she was asking what they wanted of this Games and was going to give her full backing, got the representations all worked up when they broke for workshops.
In the workshops the issues discussed were Events and Rules, Athlete Issues, Issues of Governance and As The National Sports Association Sees It.
The fact that the conference was well represented by all involved in the Malaysia Games which saw about 200 people attend, was further prove that they were serious about the fate of the Games.
OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar, taking the cue from Datuk Azalina, further underlined the importance of the Conference when he addressed the past, the present and future of the Games in his address of the participants.
The fact that Datuk Azalina had said that the resolutions at the end of the conference which will be further discussed and fine tuned by a committee comprising and OCM, NSC and representatives from different sections from the conference, before being submitted by Tunku Imran to the Cabinet Committee for Sports Development chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, further underlined the importance of this Conference.
The consensus to agree of Datuk Azalina’s that the Games should be athletes based and that the States should use the huge allocations given to the Games smartly, with welfare of the athletes being given top priority, meant there was better days ahead for the Games.
Matters like attention should be focused towards incentives like scholarships, training and progress assistance, rather than cash further meant that it was thinking of the future of the athletes to attain the best from them and at the same create a career path for them.
The existing objectives of the Games, will definitely be reviewed for better impact of the future of Malaysian sports.
Athletes and the competition will be the most important elements of the Games.
The brainstorming sessions at the workshops indeed did see important resolutions made, so that the Games will not continued to be marred by petty issues like eligibility of athletes, battle to have established athletes compete for their respective States with lure of money and not understanding basis rules of the Games, will be a thing of the past, especially after the Games in existence for 20 years.
It is about time to make the Games more relevant to present national aspirations and needs.
The Games has played its role over the years, but of late it some what has lost track and it about time to get on track and take it to the next level.
Indications from what transpired from the Conference, certainly indicates that better years are ahead.
More importantly, the fact that National Sports Council (NSC) who were the stakeholders of the Games, will now will be closely with OCM to organize future Games, is indeed a milestone in the Games moving to a new era.

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