Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The NST : SPORTCHECK: More scholarships for athletes

By Arnaz M. Khairul |

SPONSORS: Private institutions of higher learning step up for sports

Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (third from left) chats with representatives of the 10 institutes of higher education after signing the MOU yesterday. Pic by Goh Thean Howe

MORE than 160 national athletes will benefit from fully-sponsored scholarships from 10 private institutions of higher learning. 

Memorandums of understanding were signed yesterday between the 10 institutions and the National Sports Council (NSC) as part of a programme which is valued at more than RM6.4 million.The athletes will begin their courses at the 10 institutions when they are opened for their next intake, while more could join the 160 initial beneficiaries.

This is because the Allianz University College of Medical Sciences has offered an open sponsorship of an unlimited number of intakes for national athletes, which up to the NSC to fill.

Other institutions on board are the Berjaya University College of Hospitality, Cyberlinx College, Erican College, Help University, Segi University, Sunway University, Tunku Abdul Rahman College, Taylor's University and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In officiating the signing ceremony, Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said this transforms the face of sports development in the country as for the first time private institutions of higher learning have come forward strongly to support athletes.

"Previously it was all left to the government and people were of the conception that when it comes to sports, it is all up to the government to provide," said Ahmad Shabery.

Currently three government universities provide for athletes who have completed their tertiary education at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) and the Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (TMISS).

"The courses provided are not necessarily sports related but what this programme will do is to secure the future of our athletes and provide them with the training to develop their character," said Ahmad Shabery.

Asked of the need to also educate officials particularly in area of sports marketing and management, Ahmad Shabery said the NSC already provides courses that offer certificates in those areas for sports officials.

"Yes, I do agree with the need to provide such training for officials. But this is another step we have taken.
"Probably in the future we have to look into establishing a sports university," said Ahmad Shabery.

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