Saturday, July 19, 2008

Soul-less Sukma

THE trouble with us most of the time is that we allow our heads to be governed by our hearts.

When Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced tennis and taekwondo as the two sports dropped from the Malaysia Games or Sukma in Malacca in 2010, it was being typical Malaysia.

Instead of the 19 compulsory and 12 optional sports to be competed, only 18 compulsory and seven optional sports will feature in the Malacca Sukma.

Dropped from the list of optional sports are judo, rugby, canoeing, golf, volleyball, tennis and fencing.

Ismail Sabri said the only compulsory sport to be dropped was taekwondo as the national body in charge of the sport had yet to resolve its internal problems.

Why do you punish the athletes then? The Olympic Council of Malaysia can always take charge in the interim if the dispute cannot be resolved by then.

Like football, badminton and bowling, taekwondo and tennis enjoy mass appeal. Taekwondo can be taught anywhere, while I see tennis courts at almost every hotel. The National Tennis Centre at Jalan Duta comes alive every weekend.

In tennis and taekwondo, parents are willing to pay for their kids to get the right coaching.

We cannot run away from the fact that State governments put a lot of emphasis on the biennial Sukma, which means efforts to raise the standard of the two sports among the kids all over the country will take a backseat for the next two years now that they have been dropped from Sukma.

What's the purpose of having Fed-ex and Nadal demonstrating what's best about the game here but in the end leave the kids with nothing to aspire to competitively?

Tennis and taekwondo, as permanent fixtures in the Asian Games and the Olympics, should be in Sukma. Sukma which means soul, is in danger of losing its soul!


Fowler is God said...

Is the move to drop tennis a move to punish ARL, who dared to challenge the sports minister's good friend - the current president of equestrian?
Just a tot:-p

Anonymous said...

Dear Abang Rizal,

I believe one of the primary objective with the introduction of Sukma initially, was to unearth new talent so that they will have a chance to be drafted into the elite level, and thereafter represent the country one day.

In saying that, what sport should be given the priority and to be included, will have to be based on that.

Olympic status sports and sports that we are doing well at the international level, (World Cup level) could probably be the criteria.

This is taking into account of the “big picture” and millions of tax payers’ money that is being spend each time it is organised.

Sadly it has become the host that is making the decision to a certain extend, in their interest in chasing the medals.

The Sukma games has also in a way created “monster” out of the present generation athletes whereby money is now the sole motivator in most of them.

We have failed to instil in them at an early age the value and love in representing the home state and the country.

In every Sukma, we see big financial reward announced by states. This has become the practice and culture, instead why not reward them interims of scholarship or other mode of reward to secure their future.

As seen today with our national athletes, the system has failed us. Only a handful of athletes are motivated enough to do the hard work to excel,thus make the nation proud.

ZACH said...

I think all compulsory Olympic sports should be compulsory sports too in SUKMA.

2 sense said...

Dear Bro,


Have you noticed the consistency in the government agencies and the Ministers of sport past & present..
They all make decisions without proper study or consultation with the Olympic Council or the National Fedration's concerned.

Why sacrifice the athletes participation becoz of problems in the association. Cant the minister help solve the proble. I understand there are 3 associations now.Whose fault was it. Which association is recognised by the OCM. Why is there a need to recognise and support the other 2 associations?

Cant all individuals who formed the new association join the OCM recognised taekwondo body..?

politik bang..politik...check the list of officials in the new associations.

SUKMA today is a competition between Chief see who gets more gold medals.

I remember when the original idea of the Games was to unearth new talents..during the times of DS what happened ..ah?

Oh..I forgot..Now we have cari champion or cari jaguh for that purpose.