PUTRAJAYA – Five sports have been selected under the Sports Development Programme that will be jointly carried out by the National Sports Council (NSC) and National Sports Associations (NSA).
The five sports selected are swimming, cycling, athletics, badminton and sepak takraw.
“The programme was initiated following the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when presenting the Budget last year. The aim of the government was to find a new approach to develop athletes in selected sports.
“The move is the culmination of the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) that has been carried out and this programme will adopt a similar approach,” said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NSC and the five sports associations at the ministry, here Thursday.
The development programme is expected to incur a cost of RM10 million.
“I believe that it is money worth spending to expand the participation or talent base and increase the participation of young Malaysians in these five sports.
“Development in the five sports is important, especially in swimming and athletics, because we are far behind. In cycling, though we have world class riders, we need to increase the number to expand the talent base,” he said.
Unlike the NFDP which has a head, the five sports will be monitored by the NSC, he said.
“The Programme needs a longer time to succeed…eight to 10 years. And once the programme is successful, we will add more sports,” he said.