IT’S that time once again as the New Year dawns upon us on Sunday
to make resolutions.
More often than not resolutions
are made with enthusiasm and many unrealistic ones are made in the process.
However, so often when the next
New Year comes around, a year from now, we are no better off than we were last
And it’s no surprise when many
fail to not being able to uphold their resolutions no matter how hard they
However, we still believe it
was always worth trying, but among the sports fraternity, I wonder if they
actually have resolutions that get fullfilled.
Yet, a majority of the National
Sports Associations (NSAs) start out hoping for the best.
However, in fairness to a
handful of associations, who run their bodies professionally, they have
programmes with emphasis on grassroots development. They are the ones who time
and again come out tops and continue to progress.
And it is associations
governing badminton, squash, cycling, gymnastics, waterski and wakeboard, and
tenpin bowling which continue to give Malaysian sports a good name.
Others which do well and in
line to raise the bar include basketball, cricket, golf, hockey, netball,
rugby, snooker and billiards, swimming and wushu.
But much more can be done by
all and those who have not been doing much, they had better make it their
resolution to shape up or ship out!
The biggest worry associations
always face is the lack of finance, yes, it is agreed times are bad and
sponsorship, big or small, is hard to come by, and many of sports supporters
are already tied down with chosen associations.
It is time to think out of the
box and get rid of the dole mentality.
NSAs must stop running to the
National Sports Council (NSC) with the begging bowl and instead learn to manage
their grassroots programmes by themselves.
Grassroot programmes must be
managed by NSAs, full stop.
Otherwise, they might as well
hand over their associations to NSC.
For next year, NSC have a
budget of RM1.2 billion, of which RM450 million will go towards preparing athletes
for the Sea Games and Asean Para Games which Malaysia will host from August to
Another RM75 million has also
been allocated for the Podium Programme, which is geared to the 2020 Olympic
gold medal target.
The programme also targets a
top-10 medal finish at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and Commonwealth Games
in Australia the same year.
Under the Kita Juara programme,
even sports associations who have in the past not been receiving much
assistance from NSC as they are considered ‘minor’ sports, will get aid to
prepare their athletes for the Games.
This is to ensure Malaysia as
hosts emerge champions in the biennial Games.
A target of 100 gold medals or
more is the target to achieve the overall championship title.
A lot of money is being spent
towards the Games besides just for training — infra-structure, beautification,
transportation, accommodation, opening and closing ceremonies and many other
But it is hoped money spent
through this Games leaves behind a legacy and a foundation for many sports to
use this platform to higher levels in the coming years.
However, if NSAs are just going
to use the funds for the Games to ride on the bandwagon without and clear
objectives, it is going to be money down the drain.
Without doubt the resolution
for NSAs for this year must be to win as many gold medals as their athletes can
to aid Malaysia emerge champions last achieved when the country hosted the 2001
Games winning 111 gold, 98 silver and 86 bronze medals.
Happy New Year everyone, but
the sports fraternity should hold their celebrations till Aug 31 — the last day
of the SEA Games and Merdeka Day.
TONY is a sports journalist with close to four decades of
experience and is passionate about local sports.