KUALA LUMPUR: National sporting coaches, including Paralympic coaches, yesterday voiced hope for better renumeration, health schemes and educational opportunities.
These issues were raised during a closed-door dialogue session with Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim at the National Sports Council.
Speaking to reporters later, Sim said one coach had asked for the decentralisation of power and for autonomy and resources to be distributed at the state level or lower. This, the coach said, would allow sports to be developed by the stakeholders.
“There were also coaches who asked for a chance to further their studies in universities, urging the ministry to provide scholarships,” Sim said.
“They also asked for health schemes similar to what has been given to athletes, and a better career package in terms of social security, health, educational opportunities, and wage increase.”
Sim said the ministry had taken note of the issues raised by the coaches and that he had committed to looking into and implementing the points.
“I told them that we understand the challenges you face, and we want to create a more comfortable work environment for you, with a more lucrative remuneration so that coaches can focus better on training our future champions,” he said.
Sim also said that a sports academy in China had asked Malaysia to send its coaches to the academy there.
“I joked with them not to steal our coaches, but this clearly shows that Malaysian coaches are recognised as having great potential, even in countries which already excel in sports like China,” he said.
He said yesterday’s dialogue, which saw the participation of 80 coaches, was held to create more open and transparent interaction between top ministry officials and key stakeholders in sports.