“My Team” and Malaysian Sports?
I was watching “My Team” on TV3 last night. It another reality show to select a team of footballers from all over Malaysia to play against the Malaysian national side. The show is actually pretty entertaining but thats not what I wanted to talk about…more about the state of our sports and athletism in good ol Malaysia. There’s no doubt that we have the passion and “niat” to be a successful sporting nation but I don’t see Malaysia producing a vast number of world class athletes anytime soon.
The Problem: Malaysian Sports Development System
My sports experience in Germany (til 1991)
I grew up in Germany and played competitive table tennis from as early as standard 1. Competitive here means throughout the year and not just once a year (like we do here for the MSSM) games. This has nuttin to do with ability as (in Germany) there are leagues for every player’s ablity to play in. If I remember correctly, for kids under the age of 12, there are about 4-6 different leagues. As you compete and train (with qualified coaches) you make your way up the ladder and develop (what I think is most important)..a competitive mindset!!! (in Malaysia lots of kids can play like heros bfr the game starts, once the wistle blows, semua hilang…no confidence nor “arrogance”). Its pretty much the same for a every sport you play in Germany, not just table tennis or football and it only costs about RM20/yr!!
My sports experience in Malaysia (from 1991)
Came to Malaysia in 1991 (for Form 1) and didn’t find it too difficult to represent my school and won the under 15 KL competition category for non-chinese (not that I chose to be in that category). But problem is:
My skills never developed as I had no regular practice or trainer
Lack of competitions and proper organization demotivated me to persue it further.
Lack of equipment in general also didn’t help.
Schools only encouraged to compete when the MSSM games were around the corner.
Culturally Malaysian is too nice, humble and friendly.
Kita lack that cockiness and arrogance of say people like Muhammad Ali or Michael Schumacher. In sports confidence is everything. And obviously our physical shortcomings don’t help but its not an excuse…koreans & japanese are doing just fine.
Whats my point?
Malaysia needs to stop dreaming and do something about developing athletes from a young age!! …PROPERLY. Look at countries like Germany (they have a system that is not school based but discrict driven that works tremendously well and is economically viable (saves money). Yeah you may say that Germany no longer produces world champions BUT you can’t deny that have world class athletes in just about every sport, including badminton.
Hahahah I actually have a proposal/idea for the Malaysian government that I’ll propose someday (or as soon as I get my chance). We’ll see ;) “Malaysia (will) bole” someday but for now lets get real.