KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has urged more private companies to come forward and support SportsExcel’s vision for talent development. He said their investment would not go wrong as SportsExcel has helped fuel the dreams of thousands of young talents in Malaysia who aspire to be a world or Olympic champion.

This had been proven by world squash ace Datuk Nicol David and another world champion, Esther Cheah in bowling, who were both products of SportsExcel circuit. He said this success underlines the importance of investing in talent development as the long term goal of excellence.

He said too often they demand instant success and this has led them to short term gains, but over the long term, has caused a big void in Malaysian sport. He said this in his speech at the 25th anniversary dinner of SportsExcel, here Saturday night. Khairy, who is also SportsExcel’s patron, said due to lack of strong talent or none, Malaysia has not been able to compete in certain events on the global stage and continue to rely on ageing players or talent, with no back-up.

“I hope to see swimming brighten up back in the future as the sport had shown success previously as well as athletics. I am glad that SportsExcel is working closely with the National Sports Council, national sports associations and the private sector, and has shown that there is a winning formula that can be applied to ensure Malaysia stays on course for success on the international stage.”

Khairy also announced the annual fund of RM400,000 for SportsExcel to support their activities in developing young athletes for the future. Since launched in April 1991, SportsExcel had organised circuits in 12 sports namely bowling, cricket, cycling, artistic and rhythmnic gymnastics, sepak takraw, shooting, squash, swimming, taekwondon, tennis, athletics and golf.

Other names that have gone on to gain fame in their sports from SportsExcel circuits include Jeffrey Ong (swimming), Shalin Zulkifli (bowling), M. Kumaresan (cycling), Nur Herman Majid (athletics) Ben Leong and Gavin Green (golf) and Arul Vivasan Suppiah (cricket).

SportsExcel chairman Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar said that parents play an important role in the development of young athletes. He said parents are important to the athletes. He said without athletes parents, young athletes would have not reached what they have now.

He said the RM400,000 fund given by the ministry gave SportsExcel the opportunity to add one or two more sports, leagues and assist international programmes. He added that they have organised many circuits for swimming but he think they need to improve it while they need lots of assistance in athletics.

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