70 primary schools chosen to develop future badminton champions

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ALOR SETAR: Seventy primary schools will be selected as the badminton talent development centres nationwide to help improve the standard and quality of the sports in the country.

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said the development programme was a joint effort between the education ministry and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua).

The programme, at the same time, would also be promoting the “1Murid 1Sukan” (1Student 1Sport) policy.

“The five-year development programme will involve 140 coaches and 2,800 participants, aged between nine and 11.

“Each centre will have two coaches to train 40 participants and training is expected to begin next month.

“Participants involved will be trained to participate in the regional and state-level competitions in August and September.

“This will give young athletes the opportunity to compete and improve their skills in badminton, as well as be more active at the school, district, state, national and international levels,” he told reporters here today.

Earlier, he officiated the launch of the education ministry-Perodua Badminton Talent Development programme, also attended by Perodua’s chief executive officer and president Aminar Rashid Salleh and state Education Department director Azuyah Hassan.

Mahdzir said the monitoring task, as well as the coordination, implementation and evaluation of the programme, would be carried out by the ministry.

Perodua will bear all the programme’s costs, including the development of the modules, sports equipment, allowances to coaches as well as the tournaments at the district, state and national levels.

“Every year, between RM1.2 million and RM1.5 million will be allocated for programme development and Perodua will also lend two Alza cars for the purpose of monitoring the programme,” he said.

In another development, he said a random survey carried out by his ministry on issues related to students having to carry heavy school bags daily, found that students at the national-type Chinese schools carried the heaviest bags followed by students of sekolah kebangsaan and national-type Tamil schools.

“The average weight of the schoolbag is 7.3kg, including exercise books, textbooks and other school equipment.

“Previously, we have issued guidelines to help lessen the burden of children carrying heavy bags.

“Once interactive learning is implemented, it can reduce the burden of students’ school bags.

“In fact, this interactive learning has been implemented but not comprehensively just yet.

“We will try to accelerate the implementation over the next three to four years,” he said.