KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The high-level committee (HLC) between the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS), Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) said today it has made seven improvements related to the development of sports, including the reclassification of combat sports.
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said during a press conference this morning that martial arts will be classified as its own category of sports instead of as a uniformed unit activity as it is under Schedule One of the Sports Development Act 1997.
“This classification will ensure that martial arts athletes in schools will have the same recognition as those from other sports,” she said.
Swimming and track and field clubs will be encouraged as well among schools that have the appropriate facilities or are located close to them, she added.
Also, through the District School Sports Council (MSSD) and Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) annual sports competitions at the school level will be held across the educational sector, including private schools, tahfiz schools and other types of schools, she said.
Besides that, her ministry will reactivate programmes promoting Rakan Aktif and carrying out its activities as a core function of Rakan Muda.
Rakan Muda was a youth empowerment movement launched in 1994 and was part of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Vision 2020 programme that he hoped would develop strong youths equipped for the challenges of the 21st century.
Her ministry’s Federal Sports Scholarships will also be handed over to MoHE, which will make adjustments regarding its scope, terms and allocations, Yeoh added.
The role of the National Sports Institute in expanding, coordinating and organising education programs and coaching licensing for teachers and coaches under MoE and MoHE too, she said.
Finally, the application to the Community Sports Fund of RM20 million will be expanded to clubs and associations under MoE and MoHE to implement the agenda of national health at the community level, she said.
“This committee acted swiftly because it was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi),” she said, pointing out that it was formed only last week.
Last week, KBS said that it had formed an HLC chaired by Ahmad Zahid to boost the efforts for national grassroots development, particularly for swimming, martial arts, and track and field.
Yeoh said that the three sports were prioritised by the government because those athletes have flourished in previous tournaments while representing the country.