KUALA LUMPUR, 30 Sept 2020:
The Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) is hoping to unearth at least 1,000 new parathletes nationwide through its ‘People with Disability (OKU) Sports Talent Identification Programme’.
PCM president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said the association is actively looking for quality backups to replace the likes of world-class parathletes like Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli and Mohamad Riduan Mohamad Puzi so that Malaysia would not have a shortage of talented parathletes.
“If we look at 33-year-old Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi (category T36 athlete), there is a possibility he will retire soon. So, we need athletes of the same calibre.
“That is why we are carrying out this programme to intensify our search for reliable replacements,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The programme – which kicked off in Perak yesterday – received an encouraging response, with 120 participants involved at two locations.
The programme to unearth world-class parathletes will next be held in other states – such as Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan – before moving on to the east coast and northern states.
The programme participants will have to undergo 12 specific tests – including height (from sitting position) and arm measurements, body weight, agility, long jump and vertical jump.
Megat said the data collated would be processed in accordance with their suitability to and inclination for sports before being submitted to the state Youth and Sports Department (JBS) for further action.
“I am confident this effort can help facilitate the duty of the state JBS in identifying talents with the potential to be trained to compete in next year’s Johor Para Sukma.”