KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Council (NSC) will host the 2022 Malaysia Games (Sukma) before the Hanoi SEA Games are held next May, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
He said this was to ensure efforts to unearth talented athletes to represent the country in the multi-sports Games like the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (July 28-Aug 8) and Asiad in Hangzhou, China (Sept 10-25) could be carried out.
He added that the states had also agreed to find a way for all the events agreed upon previously to continue to be held while the age limit for athletes had also been raised so that all athletes who are training would get to compete in Sukma.
“Several issues, such as the total number of events and dates, will be reviewed by the NSC and tabled for discussion with the Technical Committee. It’s going to be a hectic sports season next year,” he told reporters when met after the 2021 National Youth Day celebration here today.
Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob launched the national-level 2021 National Youth Day celebration at a hotel here.
Ahmad Faizal, meanwhile, did not discount the possibility of several events in Sukma being held outside the Klang Valley, for example shooting in Ipoh and sailing at the Langkawi National Sailing Centre.
“All core sports will be held at one location as we want them to have a feel of the atmosphere. What is important is that Sukma is held so that the para athletes who have been training will get to compete as well,” he said.
The Sukma supreme council agreed on Thursday (Oct 28) for the 2020 Johor Sukma and Para Sukma, which had been postponed until 2022, to be further put off until 2024 while the NSC agreed to host the 2022 edition in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal has given an assurance that the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) would continue with the athletes’ training and preparation programmes for the major multi-sports Games, although the allocation for that purpose was not mentioned when Budget 2022 was tabled on Friday.
I have not looked at it in detail, but looking at the allocation for the high-performance sports, the Podium Programme (was not mentioned), so I think it may have been discontinued. However, KBS will surely find ways so that our efforts to produce high-performance athletes can continue… that is the commitment from the KBS,” he said.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, when tabling of Budget 2022 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, announced that RM10 million had been allocated for the NSC specifically to improve training programmes for para athletes and implement the Para Sports League.
He also announced that an allocation of RM159 million would also be used to build, upgrade and maintain sports facilities nationwide; RM50 million to implement programmes such as cultivating an active lifestyle, Fit Forever as well as National Sports Day; and RM20 million to develop national e-sports, including RM5 million to create a Drone Sports Centre of Excellence.