Tailoring varsity courses for athletes

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KUCHING: The state’s Ministry of Youth and Sports is now in discussion with two local universities in order to tailor courses specifically for the athletes.

Its minister, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said they are currently discussing with local universities such as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Curtin University Miri branch on the suitable courses available for the athletes.

“In our athlete development effort, apart from looking at their sacrifices in terms of contributing medals at the national and international level competitions, we also need to pay attention on their education.

“This is important as a career progression after they (athletes) stop representing the state or the country in sports, they will still have other career opportunities in the future,” he said in a press conference after attending the Meet-Up with Sarawak Development Athletes Programme at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Petra Jaya on Saturday (Aug 7).

On the relaxation of the conditions for entering any major institutions of higher learning, he said, it will also be discussed further in order to ensure there is a balance between their sports training and studies.

“We would want to take the efforts made by the Federal government together with public universities in Bukit Jalil Sports School to be exemplified here at the state level. 

“In terms of funding for their education, the ministry will look into it. If any of our athletes enter public university, there will also be financial assistance from various companies or government agencies to finance their cost of education,” he said.

In addition, Abdul Karim stressed that any athlete who has represented sports at the national and international levels such as Sukma, Commonwealth and the Olympic Games should be given priority when applying for jobs in the public and private sector.

“This is due to their contribution through sports so they must be given a ‘plus point’ when they look for jobs,” he said.

Also present were Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Nancy Jolhi, and Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee.

Abdul Karim and others posing for a photograph with the athletes. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

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