JUNE 2 MALAY MAIL NATIONAL SPORTS ASSOCIATION (NSAs) can make or break the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Yes, Malaysia Organising Committee (Masoc), where Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, Tunku Imran Jaafar, are the chairman and deputy chairman respectively, the chief executive officer of the committee, Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong and the 15 sub-committees, will largely be responsible for the Games.
And athletes will be the ones to deliver medals.
But it will be the NSAs — who are responsible for the deliverance of the 38 sports and 405 events being contested at the respective venues with all the mechanisms in place — to ensure every sport is managed and run without any major hitches.
While a majority of the NSAs are fully engaged and committed to making their sport a success, there are some who are still dragging their feet with many loose ends to tie up.
In any case, there certainly can be more urgency and pro-activeness shown by NSAs.
Take for instance the OCM Executive Council meeting last Saturday morning, where eight NSAs out of 35 were absent while only eight of the 20 associate member associations turned up.
Shooting, wushu, karate, cycling, silat, sepak takraw, judo and rugby failed to be represented at the meeting where important issues pertaining to the SEA Games were discussed.
The associate members who failed to turn up for the meeting too need to be taken to task when they had fought tooth and nail for their respective sports to be part of OCM, but now do not have the time to attend meetings.
Then, there a few associations who were represented by junior officials.
Respect is earned and NSAs who have been dragging their feet and displaying indifferent attitude had better pull up their socks and present themselves more honourably.
The OCM Annual General Assembly is scheduled for June 17 and it is hoped there is a full turnout so everyone is in sync to put on an excellent Games.
The selection committee meeting to finalise Malaysia’s contingent for the Games is next Tuesday and Wednesday when NSAs present their list. It is sincerely hoped that the best athletes are named for selection without fear or favour.
Above all, NSAs must be at their best because any hitches could shame the nation.
While a majority of NSAs have been engaging their counterparts in the South East Asian Games Federation and seeking their cooperation to field participants in all events held at the Games, there are some who have not put in much effort.
The last thing we need is for disciplines and events to be cancelled because of lack of participants.
The SEA Games rules states there must be a minimum of four countries for an event to be held.
With Malaysian fielding participants in all events, NSAs need only to coax another three countries to compete.
There have been fears some events where Malaysia dominate, may be scrapped due to lack of competitors.
This is where NSAs have to use their relationship with member associations to ensure at least three other nations compete in such events.
It is hoped nothing is left to the 11th hour and NSAs double their efforts to ensure everything is on track.
Let us all stand up and be counted to make a difference.
TONY is a sports journalist with close to four decades’ experience and is passionate about local sports.