Good governance sharing sessions to help Malaysian sports bodies evolve

“National sports associations (NSAs) only do post-mortems when they fail, never when they succeed.”

That was the observation made by Malaysia’s Sports Commissioner Suhardi Alias (main image) regarding NSAs in the country.

And that prompted him to start a Good Governance Sharing Session programme this year.

The first session was held on Jan 31 while the second session took place on Feb 21. The sessions were held online.

Suhardi, who was made Sports Commissioner last August, said he is focusing on how best to help NSAs evolve.

“While we should find out what went wrong, and how to rectify the situation when we fail, we must also look at reasons for success … how we can repeat it again and again, or use that formula in other sports,” said Suhardi.

“Say our Malaysian team wins a tournament. We rightly celebrate without realising that perhaps the other nations had sent their backup squads.

“By analysing our victory, we can quantify our result and see where we actually rank, and how to improve.”

The other reason for starting the programme was to help NSAs put a succession plan in place.

“One thing lacking in NSAs is a succession plan. Sometimes, when a president and the committee are ousted, the new people may be lost or have no clue on how to improve a situation,” said Suhardi.

“It is about grooming the next generation of leaders and ensuring everything is in place if a new leader comes in. The associations must know that it is their responsibility to do so.

“We also want them to have clear and measurable goals that can help them attract more sponsorships that can strengthen their programmes. We want them to be more market-driven and have strategic planning.”

Suhardi said the Sports Commissioner’s Office will introduce a rating guide for associations.

He said this was in line with how some companies planned their sponsorships.

“Another reason for the good governance programme is to talk about Safe Sport, and to get more women involved in the associations,” said Suhardi.

“Some see females as mere chaperones. There is no reason why they cannot be presidents or secretaries-general, or be technical officials or judges.

“We must be inclusive and accept anyone to be part of sports.”

He added that many associations were still learning about the Safe Sport Code which was introduced last year.

Earlier this month, the Education Ministry said officials involved in the Malaysian School Sports Council (MSSM) Championship must undergo the Safe Sport Code training this year.

Only those certified can coach in the MSSM competitions.

“It is not only about how you conduct yourself or what you say, but about providing a safe place for athletes to train and compete,” he added.

Representatives from NSAs who want to join the upcoming sessions can reach out to the Sports Commissioner’s Office for more information.

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