Bukit Jalil, with facilities, ancillary services, the ideal proof of concept for sports hub

The facilities and potential services that can be offered in and around the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil make the location an ideal sports hub.

So said Malaysia Stadium Corporation chief financial officer Mazlan Ami, who believes Bukit Jalil could very well be a proof of concept for such an initiative.

“When it comes to sports hubs, you must involve the public, it must be able to stand alone and be commercially viable,” said Mazlan.

“There shouldn’t be subsidies or cross-subsidies between any party. It’s not just about the facilities but (the location should also provide) services like physiotherapy and nutritionists.

“For the public, there is no such place for that (at the moment).”

Mazlan said public and private partnerships could create an ecosystem that was viable, adding that Bukit Jalil could be the proof of concept.

“One area which is good is Bukit Jalil. We already have the facilities at the National Sports Council and the National Sports Institute (NSI); and they are already extending their services to the public.

“It is a good location as a proof of concept, where we can have a lot of facilities and services not only for national athletes, but for ‘weekend warriors’ and for all across the board.”

Mazlan said this during the National Sports Vision 2030 townhall, which was held online yesterday. He was joined by former national shuttler Daphne Ng, sports psychologist Dr Rebecca Wong, NSI sports nutritionist Noor Amira Nafiah, and Johor Darul Ta’zim technical director Alistair Edward.

When asked about his aspirations for the national sports vision, Mazlan said it was about promoting an active lifestyle from an early age.

“If you have a bigger population of active people, you will be a population that will appreciate sports and all the ancillary services.

“Malaysians are ranked among the most obese in the region. We need to move away from that. We need to be mobile and move around more.”

Obesity was also a concern among health authorities as Malaysians had put on more weight due to the sedentary lifestyle resulting from the various lockdowns enforced since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said having an active lifestyle would make Malaysians healthier and ease the government’s burden in subsidising medical costs.

“We have to start our children from young. We have to create this environment … I believe more can be done to encourage youngsters to play and enjoy sports.

“If they enjoy it, it’s something they will continue as they grow,” he added.