Selangor Journal
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh delivers her speech during the Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) thanksgiving reception for its president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin, who was appointed to the FIFA Council, at FAM’s Futsal Arena in Petaling Jaya, on February 7, 2023.

Olympics qualification not ticket to RTG — Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Youth and Sports (KBS) Minister Hannah Yeoh has reiterated that not all athletes who qualified for the Olympic Games will be included in the Road to Gold (RTG) programme.

While all athletes get support from the National Sports Council (NSC) and National Sports Institute (NSI) through the Podium programme, those in RTG are ranked among the top 10 in the world or are gold medal prospects.

“In RTG, they (athletes) have basic support from Podium, which we give to all who have qualified for the Olympics.

“But for RTG, we look into providing top-up services which can strengthen their chances to win gold,” she said during a press conference after the National Youth Consultative Council meeting at the International Youth Centre in Cheras today.

Yeoh said KBS is always open to meeting any athletes who have qualified for the Olympics, including women’s road cyclist Nur Aisyah Mohamad Zubir.

“Our doors are always open, and sports associations know they can access NSC. It is difficult for me to respond each time an athlete qualifies for the Olympics, as the qualification process is ongoing. But we always try our best to meet (athletes),” she said.

Nur Aisyah became the country’s first women’s road racer to qualify for the Olympics today, after the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) awarded her a slot for Paris 2024 based on her ranking and consistent performance.

On implementing the Employees Provident Fund and Social Security Organisation contributions for Podium athletes, Yeoh said this is the most basic protection for athletes.

“The NSC director-general is working out the details with EPF and Perkeso. An engagement session was held yesterday, and I believe we are committed to implementing this protection beginning next January,” she said.

On another matter, KBS and NSC are reviewing the salary scheme for national coaches to make it more attractive, including to lure back Malaysian coaches now serving overseas.

“I believe they will prioritise their own country if the scheme is more attractive. We have lost many coaches, especially in gymnastics, to Singapore,” Yeoh said.

— Bernama

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