Do we need organised sports programmes to promote healthy lifestyle or sports for all?
In Malaysia many organised events have been held in the name of promoting sports and healthy lifestyle and thousands and even millions of ringgit spent.
Some of these events are just held over weekends or even over a day.
And how much it benefits the mass in the end is a million ringgit question.
I was recently in Phnom Penh and I was amazed at the enthusiasm shown by young and old when it came to exercising and staying healthy.
And it was not organised events they were involved in but just thousands of people either walking, running, cycling, on skateboards or exercising daily in the morning and evening.
On weekends and public holidays it was bumper crowd and sometime no place to move freely.
And this is was happening on large and long boardwalks along the Tonle Sap River, Independence Monument and many walk paths and gardens around the many temples.
That the government had foresight to build so many boardwalks around the city at their iconic monuments and sightseeing areas is indeed visionary.
Another sight which caught my eye was that sepak tarkraw was a hit among Cambodians. All along the boardwalks the young boys and men playing the game.
It is no surprise that the Cambodians have already won a gold medal in Chinlone (part of the Sepak Takraw events) at the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore and probably it is a matter time before the Cambodians will be a threat to the Malaysians and Thais in the sepak takraw game proper.
Another game played along the boardwalks is the tradional game of 'chapteh' especially among the older men and women. And they are indeed very good at it where the game requires great dexterity and balanced in keeping the feathered shuttlecock in the air for the longest time. They have also modified the game to play like a sepak takraw game.
Indeed we don't need multi million ringgit sports stadium or facilities to promote sports and healthy living among the mass.
Even the state of art sports complexes we have are not readily available to the public or have to pay exorbitant charges to book them.
Just have parks, open areas, tracks and pathways and boardwalks for children, youth, men and women, old folks and families to come to and they will come in doves.
In Malaysia too we have thousands who flock to the limited number of parks and open spaces in the country and sometimes these places are packed to the brim.
We certainly could do with more 'green areas'. parks boardwalks, garden for the citizens to come and spend some quality time with their families, friends or even individually to keep themselves healthy.
There will definitely be no shortage of people to utilise these facilities as we have a strong sporting population.
Just take a look at the many runs organised every weekend all over the country where participants pay entry fees to participate in thousands for every run.
Maybe we need to look at Cambodia and learn a few things from them.