Malaysian Allied Health Sciences Academy (MAHSA) University plans to give athletes a chance to further their careers in sports while pursuing their studies.
The university’s head of recreation and sports, R. Navarathnaraja, said some athletes give up their sporting careers when they enter university, as they find it too taxing.
MAHSA University hopes to change that mindset by giving discounts on academic fees to athletes.
“This is one way to encourage them to continue their sporting careers,” said Navarathnaraja, adding that the university also offers sports-related courses, such as physiotherapy, coaching, and refereeing.
“If they continue to excel in their chosen sports, they will enjoy the discounts.
“Our new Sports Development Officer (N. Rada Krishnan), is a well-known football coach… he joins us next month on a full-time basis.
“For the past nine months, he has been working with us, part-time.
“It is because of him that we believe we can eventually fulfil our target of producing highly educated and advanced athletes to participate in the Premier League and the Malaysian Super League.”
To that end, MAHSA University will compete in next season’s M-League 3 and M-League 4 – the third- and fourth-tier of Malaysian football.
Above them are the Premier and Super Leagues.
Navarathnaraja said MAHSA University will field teams made up exclusively of its students for the M-3 and M-4 Leagues.
It will also compete in the Institute of Higher Education League and Amateur Football League.
For these leagues, MAHSA University will hold a selection session throughout Malaysia.
“We fielded two teams, made up of our students in the MAHSA-Kronos M5 League. Several players also played for PDRM FC in the National Under-19 League. The team finished fourth,” said Navarathnaraja.
He also revealed that MAHSA has a working relationship with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.
The former European champion recently sent several of its coaches to the university to train the footballers.
“In future, we also plan to have a women’s football team and to set up futsal teams.
“We will offer the players a career outside of football, as the physiotherapy, coaching and refereeing courses will allow them to be part of football, too.”