Allocation Not Main Problem, Search For Para Athletes Is - Hannah 

30/10/2023 03:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- More attention will be given towards the search for talented para-athletes to ensure Malaysia's continued success on the international stage, said Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

She said that for para sports, the search for talent is a more worrying problem than the issue of allocation.

She added that the matter would be brought up at the next high-level committee meeting involving the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) and Ministry of Education (MOE).

"For para athletes, the talent pool is smaller. That's why we must now have more promotions to ensure children and youngsters who are disabled go out and give themselves a chance.

"We will train them so that they can represent Malaysia… we want to empower our para athlete ecosystem, with an additional RM2 million (Budget 2024) for them, I hope we can further enhance the support system for them,” she said.

She told reporters this after the Huawei prize-presentation ceremony for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Para Games medal winners at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil today. 

Meanwhile, Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said they would begin efforts to enhance the talent search together with the Kuala Lumpur Education Department.

He said that besides athletics, five additional para sports, namely goalball, sitting volleyball, cycling, swimming and boccia are proposed to be introduced in every special education school here.

In addition, he said that in collaboration with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (MKBOKU) and MOE, a special education sports school in Bandar Baru Enstek, Sepang would be completed by 2025.

"It (the special education sports school) is an initiative of the PCM since becoming a member of MKBOKU for the past two and a half years. Everything is going as planned and will be ready by 2025. Next year, you will see the framework that we are drawing up with the MOE,” he said.

At the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, which ended on Saturday (Oct 28), the Malaysian contingent surpassed the 35-medal target when they returned home with 39 medals - seven golds, 15 silvers and 17 bronzes - for 12th position in the medal tally.