Saturday, 8 June 2013

Malaysia needs re-engineering sports, not computer games, junk foods....

Re-engineering sports in schools

KHAIRY Jamaluddin, our Youth and Sports Minister, wants to transform our country into a sporting nation – he has a daunting task to achieve with many challenges along the path of success.

First and foremost, how much time is allocated to physical education in schools? With more children reportedly facing obesity, we wouldn’t even get to the starting block.

Also, our children are too engrossed with computer games and our fields are being hijacked for commercial development, making our children lazier. Let’s not forget too the unhealthy fast food eating culture.

Physical education classes are irregular in schools and disorganised. PE teachers lack the knowledge in sports science or health science.

Most teachers lack the capability to assess a potential athlete as they cannot even explain the percentage of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres and other aspects related to athletic performance such as physiology, physical ability, technical proficiency and psychological predisposition to performance.

Based on feedback, students are just given a ball to kick around without being given much guidance on ball skills. In many cases, students just laze around the field without proper attire.

The main focus of schools, teachers and parents seems to be for students to score the maximum number of “A’s” in the exams, with sports ranking low in priority among the stakeholders.

The million-dollar question now is how are we going to create a sports culture in schools and sell the idea to parents that sports offers great career progression?

Parents have seen that sports does not pay in the long run, except in a few cases like Datuk Nicol David (squash), Datuk Lee Chong Wei (badminton) and Pandelela Rinong (diving) who are positive role models.

There must be a firm commitment from the Government to prioritise school sports, facilities and space for competitive sports and play.

Khairy, our No.1 sports fan must work closely with the relevant stakeholders to promote a strong sports culture among our youths.

C. SATHASIVAM SITHERAVELLU Seremban

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