| Azlan Othman |
SEVERAL strategies have been put in place to boost the medal tally at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin said.
He made these comments at the 15th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday responding to LegCo member and Penghulu of Mukim Kota Batu Yang Berhormat Naim bin Haji Kamis’s query on the country’s preparation to compete in regional and international sporting events.
The country’s sports contingent failed to collect any gold medals during the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
He said, “The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has strategies to identify sports for the upcoming SEA Games. Key Performance Indicator (KPI) will be forwarded by respective sports associations to find out which sports event can contribute to medal collection.
“Programmes such as ‘Talent Introduction and Development Programme’ and ‘Sports Academy Programme’ have been introduced to boost athletes’ readiness to compete, and to train them to become elite sportsmen/women in competitions that can contribute to medal collections such as the SEA Games.
“The third strategy is to enhance the management and efficiency of sports organisations through administrative courses run by international organisations. The fourth strategy focusses on increasing public leisure activities, and the fifth strategy is to set up more ties with government and private sectors and non-government ogranisations (NGOs), ie to hire science experts, coaches and use of facilities and finally to set up adequate fund and increasing revenue.”
Asked on the challenges faced on the difficulty to win medals, the minister said sports commitment and sports development implemented by associations need to be strengthened. “We are looking for talents that can be trained to be elite athletes,” the minister said.
Athletes also have challenges as they have work, education and so on. “Time is crucial for any athlete. As for financial constraint, we prioritise sports we can compete internationally. We have allocated BND200,000 for sports development especially for sports associations.”
The minister lauded the country’s athletes’ performances during the BIMP-EAGA sports meet where Brunei won 18 gold medals for the first time. “Our initial target for such tournament for youth aged below 21 was only seven gold medals,” he said.
The minister also congratulated special needs athletes who competed in the Abu Dhabi Sports Meet and won two gold medals.