Sports culture needed to create sports industry

Without a sporting culture, there will not be a sports industry.

Those were the words of Malaysian sports administrator Ghaz Ramli, who is now based in Perth, Australia, after new Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican told Twentytwo13 last week of his vision to push for greater awareness of the sports industry.

Ghaz, a former journalist who hails from Ipoh and is now the game day manager for Perth Heat Baseball Club, said Malaysians generally were still not sports-inclined compared to Australians.

“In Malaysia, it’s always about extra classes or religious studies while sports take a back seat but in Australia, sports is a main after-school activity,” said Ghaz, 39.

“In Australia, generations – grandfathers, grandmothers, parents and children – are all involved in sports one way or other. They are more than just fans. They are all actively involved.”

Ghaz pointed out that due to such strong sporting culture, Australians aim for the stars.

“They (Australians) want to be the world’s best. And a world champion could be staying just a few doors away from where I live.

“So it’s important for Malaysia to create a strong sports culture first. Without athletes or people active in sports, you won’t have an industry.”

Ghaz said this during The RSS with HD that was aired on YouTube at 4pm today. Catch the full discussion, featuring actor and comedian Rashid Salleh and Twentytwo13 editor Haresh Deol, on The RSS YouTube page.

The weekly talk show on YouTube is produced by Professional Storytellers and Toucan Media. Local brand Amnig is the official attire for the show.

Also, don’t forget to catch the RSS with HD – Extended on Wednesday at 2pm.