Rise of ex-national athletes

Nauraj Singh Randhawa

Several former national heroes have expressed interest in playing a prominent role in athletics associations to make a difference in the sport.

Inspired by Nauraj Singh Randhawa’s forthright take on the sorry state of sports, specifically athletics, during a no holds barred interview with Twentytwo13 published yesterday, the former athletes plan to meet next month to chart their next course of action.

The conversation was sparked after former hurdler Moh Siew Wei’s shared Twentytwo13’s article on Facebook, prompting the athletes to meet and discuss the fate of the sport.

Moh Siew Wei

Moh Siew Wei
Comments by former national athletes on Siew Wei’s Facebook page.

“We read the article and discussed Nauraj’s predicament and his take on the issue in our WhatsApp group comprising former athletes. We decided that it is time for us to make a change and to step up,” said former sprinter Nazmizan Muhammad.

“It’s still early discussions but the tentative date is in early April to meet and see how best we can play a more aggressive role in ensuring athletes are taken care of and to raise the standard of the sport.

“If it means having to be part of athletics associations at state level, we will do it.”

He admitted change can only happen if the former athletes are part of the system.

Siew Wei said she is all for change if it promises a better future for athletics.

“I’m happy someone had the courage to say this. But the problem is right now we don’t know how bad the situation is and how best to tackle the issues.

“Working together would surely benefit as we can capitalise on each other’s expertise.”

She said it now boils down to translating the ideas into reality and executing them through one voice.

“If I can contribute to make things better, I will do so,” she added.

Former race walker Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman said things will be clearer when the former athletes meet.

“I’ve been part of the state association in the past (FTAAA) but it won’t be a walk in the park as we need to be part of a club affiliated to the state association before making our way up. It will surely be a lengthy process but if there are those who are eager to make a difference, then we have to start a club and be affiliated to a state.”

Shahrulhaizy added athletics is in his blood and he would do what it takes to ensure the sport thrives.

Former F1 driver Alex Yoong had this to say: