SERDANG – Coach Rashid Sidek can still contribute to the development of badminton in the country although he has decided to sever ties with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy said Rashid was earlier offered an opportunity to join the National Sports Council (NSC) under its grassroots development programme if he (Rashid) decides to sever ties with the BAM.
The Sports Minister said he had asked NSC director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail to discuss the prospect of joining the NSC and continue his services as a coach.
Rashid, winner of a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, United States, had decided to sever ties with the BAM together with coach Rosman Razak, after receiving an offer from a private club.
“If true, it is up to Rashid. We will wait for the feedback from his discussion with Datuk Shapawi. If he wants to sever the NSC, the door is still open,” he said after attending his ministry’s Excellent Service Awards, here today.
Khairy said since players who are selected to represent the country are not restricted to only those under the BAM fold, Rashid can still contribute by helping players in his club to represent the country.
“If private clubs can get the services of coaches like Rashid, it will enable the clubs to be more effective in the developing their players. Indirectly, his services will still contribute to the nation’s development in badminton,” he said.
Zulfadli Zulkifli and Mohamad Arif Abdul Latiff are two players in the National team but not under the BAM fold.
As for allegations that the appointment of Denmark’s Morten Frost Hansen as the BAM Technical Director had resulted in a number of players and coaches leaving the BAM, Khairy said for changes to take place effectively, time was needed and he (Frost) need to be given time, space and support to carry out his plans.
Meanwhile, Khairy urged all civil servants to form the ‘Fit Malaysia’ wave to fulfill the country’s agenda of becoming a sporting nation.
“The programmes serve a dual purpose; firstly, to bring people together to exercise and learn the latest ways to get/keep fit, and secondly, to facilitate community-building in sports.
“It’s important for sport and fitness activities to be inclusive, not only across ethnicity and income, but across gender and disability lines,” he said in his speech at the Fit [email protected] Service programme in Putrajaya, today.