Friday, July 31, 2009

Mini Olympics or Mini-National championship?

Critics have questioned the benefits of the Mini-Olympics, while the sports authorities themselves are singing praises over the event.

One really has to examine the event without any invested interest to derive on the real benefits of the event.

One glaring factor which is staring us in the face is that, not much thought was put into the event before deciding to go with it.

What is the difference between the Mini-Olympics and the national championships which each national association organise? Except for the carnival atmosphere of the Games, there is really no difference. Or is there a carnival atmosphere at all?

In fact, some of the national championships which are "Open" events, sees foreign participation and it is certainly more competitive than the Mini-Olympics and serves better for our local athletes.

With the word Olympics used, one would immediately think that it is an international event. But it is just a local event.

Sports officials and coaches have expressed their concern over Mini-Olympics, which they feel does not motivate their athletes to perform.

Sports authorities claim that junior athletes get an opportunity to pit against senior athletes, but that happens all the time in training.

Maybe, true to the meaning of Olympics, it should have been an international event. At least, invite a few foreign countries to participate like Australia, Japan, Korea and maybe a few selected Asean countries, which will promise some real competition.

The Arafura Games organised in Darwin could be a role model where there is foreign participation.

In the Arafura Games, which is 18 years old, countries from across the Asia Pacific region compete with the Games focusing attention on emerging athletes, offering them the opportunity to compete in an international arena.

It is pointless having local Games and thumping the chest with results from it, because at the end of the day, it is just Kampong Games.

We have had enough of producing Jaguh Kampongs. We want to see real champions at the international field and to achieve that, we need to compete against the best or at least, against athletes who are better than us.

Surely the RM1.1million spent to organise the Mini-Olympics, could have been put to better use. Let us not organise events for "syiok sendiri" purposes or for the sake of organising an event.

Food for thought? Or are we going to go on the defensive mode?

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