WAY FORWARD: Early exposure will produce results on a large scale, says Dr Ramlan
NATIONAL Sports Institute chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz believes spreading awareness and providing education on sports science and proper exercise techniques must be done from a young age if results are to be seen on a large scale in the future.
Dr Ramlan said inculcating such knowledge from an early stage will not only help the nation in producing elite athletes but will also help boost the physical and mental health of the population.
"I am sure that every stakeholder and relevant party, either from the government or private sector, is doing their best but the reality is that whatever we want to change in society has to start with the young. People my age are already set in their ways and have lived through life," said Dr Ramlan, who officiated the 1Malaysia-World Congress in Sports and Exercise Medicine (WCSEM) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"Every year there are about 470,000 students enrolled in standard one and very soon that figure will reach 500,000.
"From that figure, five per cent will be good enough to become national athletes and will be put through the necessary programmes.
"But the other 95 per cent will hopefully in due time, thanks to endeavours such as this (WCSEM) and 1Murid 1Sukan (1Pupil 1Sport), will become active, dynamic young Malaysians who love sport for health and recreation.
"We educate the young in three aspects regarding sports -- physical development, mental development and dietary, all of which should become part and parcel of their daily lives.
"You have to remember that one kid playing sport is one kid off the streets and maybe even one less smoker.
"It will take time, maybe even generations and needs constant, sustained efforts from not only the Society of Sports and Exercise Medicine Malaysia (SSEMM) but also other NGOs."
Dr Ramlan added that the private and government sectors must work together to achieve this, in line with the National Blue Ocean Strategy, to ensure that the most value can be derived from public funds utilised.
To date, more than 30 foreign speakers from over 25 countries have confirmed their attendance at WCSEM, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 26-30.
The event is the third international congress in sports and exercise organised by SSEMM in as many years.