Friday, March 07, 2014

Paralympic Sports Excellence Centre A Platform To Excel At All Levels - Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 (Bernama) -- The setting up of the Paralympic Sports Excellence Centre will provide a platform for athletes involved in Paralympic sports at all levels, including grassroots.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in conjunction with the opening of the centre, the Ministry of Sports had launched the 'Inspire Programme' to encourage more paralympic athletes to participate.

"The 'Inspire Programme' will be a platform that can provide a wider base for people with disability to be involved in sports and recreation. People with disability will be encouraged to participate in camps organised at 119 districts throughout the country.

"Thirty athletes will be picked from each district to attend a two-day camp called iTalent. The objective is to identify 1,400 athletes to attend a week long iTrain camp, which will be held in every state," he told reporters after the opening ceremony of the centre in Kampung Pandan, here today.

The Paralympic Sports Excellence Centre was opened by the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) Patron Tun Jeanne Abdullah, the wife of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who was also in attendance and National Sports Institute (ISN) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz.

Khairy said when athletes attend the iTrain programme, they would be trained in sports like football, athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, weightlifting, goal ball, table tennis, badminton, boccia, cycling, swimming and lawn bowls.

He added that facilities at the centre was the best in the Asean region.

"The Excellence centre will adopt an open concept whereby any athlete with a disability can come and train at the centre. The country's elite paralympic athletes will also be housed here except athletes involved in athletics since the track here is not up to the mark," he said.

The target is to see Malaysian paralympic athletes do well in the Asian Para Games and the Para Commonwealth Games, he said.

-- BERNAMA

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