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Ex-javelin champ tells athletes to join welfare foundation

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Former javelin champion Norsham Yoon advised all former athletes to register with National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb).

Her call comes after Malay Mail highlighted the plight of 1961 SEAP Games javelin gold medallist Ng Kah Liew who sells fruits by the roadside to supplement his income.

Ng, who is 80, has a meager RM1,200 pension from his teaching profession.

“I don’t think he is registered with Yakeb. All former athletes should join the body,” said Norsham, the 1983 Sportswoman of the Year.

“Yakeb can provide ‘shelter’ in terms of funds to start business and allocation for medical expenses, among others.” 

Norsham was the best javelin thrower in the region between 1980 and 1992.

She represented the country in numerous sporting events, including the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi and 1983 Sea Games in Singapore. 

Meanwhile Shaharudin Jaffar, Malaysia’s first gold medallist in cycling when he triumphed in the men’s 800 metre massed start at the 1965 Sea Games, said not being recognised is the norm for “old athletes”.

“We served without sponsors as we love the country.

“We trained hard with a lot of determination. It is true many forget athletes like Ng. We just have to live with it,” said Shaharudin, 77.

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