Malaysia to offer assistance to Laos for 2009 SEA GAMES

Posted by samakomlao Sunday, October 26, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will offer technical and coaching assistance to Laos, who will host the SEA Games for the first time next year.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the Laotian organisers had made an official request to Malaysia to provide help from as early as December.

“The SEA Games will be the biggest event Laos has ever hosted and they mentioned that they lacked the experience to run the show, especially in the technical and coaching areas,” said Ismail at the ministry’s Hari Raya open house at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

“We have agreed to help them. This is not a problem as we have hosted bigger sporting events like the Commonwealth Games.

“We will send relevant technical officials and coaches to help them prepare for the SEA Games. They have also requested for their technical officials to come to Malaysia on attachments for six months with the National Sports Council and relevant sports associations.”

Meanwhile, Ismail hoped the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) would help to fight for the inclusion of certain Olympic sports that Laos had dropped from their Games programme.

“The SEA Games should be the first step towards identifying athletes with potential to compete at the Olympic level. This is followed by the Asian Games.
“But we have seen the tendency for hosts to include other sports in which they feel that they will do well.”

Laos had listed only 25 sports compared to 43 sports plus two demonstration sports in the previous Games programme in Thailand.

The Olympic sports, among them women’s basketball, cycling, archery and gymnastics, have been excluded at the expense of fin swimming, muay thai and shuttlecock kicking.
A decision on the final list of sports will be made after the SGF’s meeting next month.

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