Ti said the move was to give relief to shuttlers who wished to turn professional, lift suspensions on professional players and give permission for them to compete in international sporting events.- Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (March 2): The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has currently formulated three solutions for shuttlers who wish to step into the professional world, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said the move was to give relief to shuttlers who wished to turn professional, lift suspensions on professional players and give permission for them to compete in international sporting events.

“With this, the ministry hopes that other national associations will also refine their positions and streamline agreements between athletes, sponsors and related parties.

“This is to ensure that continuity and development of sports is given priority, balanced with the career development and personal needs of athletes. This is in taking into consideration that the professional players have represented the country before,” he said during the question-and-answer session.

He was replying to a question from William Leong Jee Keen (PH-Selayang) on ​​the cause of BAM preventing its players from turning professional earlier and banning them from participating in international tournaments and steps taken to rectify the situation.

Commenting further, Ti said his ministry together with BAM had careful planning and long-term investment for the players to produce shuttlers of international standard.

“This investment encompasses the government’s commitment, the role of the national sports association to ensure that its players’ programmes at the grassroots and international levels can be planned and implemented smoothly.

Answering Leong’s supplementary question on the approach taken by BAM which was seen could affect its own shuttlers’ careers, Ti explained that various programmes were in place to produce world-class players under the association.

“BAM have taken care of the players since school and when they become ‘seniors’, it is their (association’s) responsibility to ensure that the Youth Development programme continues to be implemented to attract sponsor investment and protect existing interests.

“The ministry has taken the initiative to discuss with both parties (BAM and the shuttlers) involved, advice has also been given and the problem (players wanting to leave BAM) has been resolved satisfactorily. The ministry can only advise all parties involved to prioritise the interests of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, replying to another supplementary question from Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (Bersatu-Alor Gajah) who wanted to know about the ministry’s plans in implementing structured programmes and working with the Ministry of Education, Ti informed that various programmes had been planned through the Podium Programme.

“The National Sports Council is restructuring programmes for athletes by focusing on major events such as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, the 2022 SEA and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“The elements that will be given emphasis are the criteria for the selection of athletes, training programmes, sports exposure, coaching and science services as well as sports medicine,” he said. – Bernama

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