Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 15:26
NATIONAL sports associations should empower and assist the state bodies in order for sporting standards to improve in the country.
Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, honorary secretary of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, strongly feels that the state associations have become weak and do not contribute much to the development of their respective sport.
“The strength of any national body is their affiliates — the state associations. But of late, the majority of state associations have just been making up the numbers,” the veteran sports official points out.
“National bodies concentrate on their own associations, leaving the state bodies to fend for themselves. While in the past the state associations were effective, now they complain of lack of funds and facilities for them to operate efficiently.
“With the National Sports Council also doing development programmes, the state associations have been taking things easy and hardly do any work at the grassroots level.
“It is about time the national bodies paid more attention to the state associations and ensured that they conducted development programmes in accordance with the master plan.”
Kok Chi is puzzled that the state associations are protesting that they do not have the facilities to conduct such programmes because all of them have had enough of these built so that they could host the Malaysia Games, which takes place on a rotational basis.
“It is obvious that something is not right in the states that are grumbling. This is where the national bodies can speak to the respective state governments or sports councils that are in charge of the facilities to make them available.
“I was shocked when I was told that several states do not have tracks for their athletes to train on or for the associations to conduct programmes.
“The national associations must engage their affiliates and assist them wherever possible to ensure that development at the grassroots continues.”
Kok Chi also urges the state associations to be proactive and relevant instead of being satisfied with just sending athletes to the Malaysia Games or national championships.
“The state football associations seems to be the active ones, but that is mainly because of the Malaysian Football League and funding from the FA of Malaysia.
They too have to start doing more work by going to the districts and remote areas in their respective states, drawing up programmes to unearth new talent and conducting courses for coaches, referees and administrators.
“If the national associations leave their affiliates to their own devices, it is the respective sport that will be the loser.”