THE Foundation for Malaysian Sporting Excellence (SportExcel) are confident that their development-level tournaments, which have been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, can still be held before the end of the year.
SportExcel only managed to organise less than 20 per cent of its 78 development-level tournaments and circuits involving 13 sports before the government implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18.
Although the Conditional MCO (CMCO) is still in place and the government has yet to give the green light for the resumption of competitive sports and training as well interstate travels, SportExcel executive director C. Sivanandan admitted that chances were slim for its tournaments to be held before October.
“Only sports like golf, cycling (BMX), shooting, tennis, bowling and cricket managed to organise one or two circuits before the MCO was implemented, while the vast majority of our tournaments were put on hold. If there is any chance at all (for the rest of the tournaments to be held), (it will probably) only (be) in the last quarter of the year.
“We will strictly follow the government’s directives and won’t rush into organising any events. If there is a need to cancel all the (remaining) tournaments this year, we will do it and move on to 2021,” he said yesterday.
Swimming, diving, squash, taekwondo, athletics, artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics have yet to organise any tournaments scheduled for this year.
Sivanandan said the fate of international events, including the 15th AmBank-SportExcel International Junior Golf Championship, slated for Oct 20-22, would be decided by the end of this month after discussions with sponsors.
He said that despite the current tough economic condition, SportExcel was positive that sponsors and donors would continue to chip in and help the growth of Malaysian sports.
“We have two types of sponsors – tournament-based sponsors and 16 chartered members – besides other donors who assist in cash and kind. Our spending largely consists of operational costs, organising elite circuits and about RM50,000 for the annual individual funding of our best athletes.
“Our board, led by chairman Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar, is still looking for additional sponsors and financial assistance,” said Sivanandan.
SportExcel has been supporting junior sports development in Malaysia since 1991 and has played a crucial part in producing world-class athletes, such as squash queen Datuk Nicol David; three-time bowling world champion Shalin Zulkifli and top male golfer Gavin Kyle Green. – BERNAMA