KUCHING: Some form of monetary reward and incentives for athletes are worth considering as these would be able to inspire them, said Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan.
He opined that the quantum could vary depending on the level of participation – whether at the domestic or international level.
“We cannot deny that monetary incentives can be one of the good determinants of inspiration.
“Besides, it provides additional expenses for supplemental nutrition, sporting gear, and apparel. Indirectly, this helps to motivate and strengthen the psychological and mental capabilities of athletes. After all, most sports entail mental readiness,” he said.
Snowdan added that sports involved mostly young teenagers, pointing out that part of their youth was committed to sports as a career.
“When they grow older, they consider life after their triumph, such as shelter and family. Therefore, some form of gratuity or pension to face old age would be in their thoughts,” he said, adding that athletes would also need savings for themselves or their children.
In later years, he suggested that these successful athletes could be incorporated into the state’s sports schools as coaches and sports administrators, assigned to look after the state’s sports development agendas.
At the same time, Snowdan said there could also be other forms of reward such as book memoirs or naming a sports arena after an athlete to highlight their achievements in a particular sport.
“The Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Petra Jaya, Kuching is a fine example initiated by the state,” he said.
Commenting on what makes an athlete a champion, he said champions were not made overnight but instead it took years of training, coaching, mentorship, character-building, self-discipline, as well as utmost support from family and friends.
“Most athletes will agree that instilling self-discipline during hard training and having adequate sports facilities, coaching, and perseverance are qualities that help athletes to perform their best. Every athlete has his/her own target and will strive towards achieving it,” he said.
He said the government, meanwhile, would provide facilities and sports science experiences including therapy and rehabilitation centres to nurse those with injuries.
“This is to ensure that athletes can continue training and participating in events and attain high performance in sports,” said Snowdan.