IPOH, Nov 21 — Perak will be finalising its list of Sukma athletes by March 2018.
At today’s state assembly sitting, Perak youth and sports executive councillor Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya said there were currently around 700 athletes still training under the state’s Kita Juara programme.
Shahrul who is also Rungkup assemblyman said the athletes who competed in 29 sports would be going through two selection phases before the September 2018 games.
“Their performance will be evaluated through two selections in December and March,” he told the assembly this morning.
“The final evaluation will determine the squad who will carry our challenge for victory at the games.”
Shahrul said 67 state athletes were involved in the Perak Podium Programme (P3), an elite performance programme designed to create world class athletes from Perak’s Sukma 2016 medallists, and top three finishers at national and youth championships.
The state, Shahrul said, was extremely serious in ensuring only the best athletes made it in the podium programme.
“From time to time, athletes who don’t maintain top three positions will be removed from the list, replaced by others who finish in the top three.”
The P3 programme aims to create a high performance athletic ecosystem made of six main components.
The components include: Training infrastructure, quality coaching, exposure to competition, application of sports science, incentives, and strategic partners.
Shahrul said Perak had spent over RM1.08 million on allowances for coaches.
Besides local coaches, he said coaches from countries like Thailand (sepak takraw), China (wushu and gymnastics) and Russia (gymnastics) had been brought in to mould Perak’s athletes.
Shahrul said sports science would play a vital role in the state’s attempts to finish as champion.
“Sports science application was one of the keys to success during the recent SEA Games, and it will be important for us.
“We finished 11th at the last Sukma, but I believe we can be champions next year. Impossible is nothing.”