Time for sports associations to embrace new normal

The landscape of sports has changed dramatically over the past few months and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

As such, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) had called on its affiliates to devise new ways to engage with its stakeholders – from athletes to fans – to ensure their sport is kept alive.

“We live in unprecedented times. As a responsible national sports association, I urge the officials to engage with their relevant stakeholders,” said Norza.

“Please make sure the welfare of the coaches and athletes is taken care of during this period while keeping the fans and sports fraternity abreast with the latest within the association.”

He said there were many ways to stay connected online – from creating online modules for coaches and athletes to advising the public of nutrition and staying fit.

The Movement Control Order, which kicked in on March 18, is scheduled to end on April 28 but many believe it could be extended yet again following the rise of Covid-19 cases worldwide.

Many also believe sporting events will take a backseat for six months or so as Malaysians will have to maintain physical distancing even after the MCO ends.

“We have to assist the government in flattening the curve and to ensure the MCO is adhered to. We need to work on the new normal, how we still do things collectively but in a safe manner.

“We need to plan to move forward quickly and effectively.”

PsST poster

OCM has set aside RM300,000 from its trust fund as financial aid to its affiliates which have been impacted by the pandemic. The council will also waive 50 per cent of monthly rental of tenants at Wisma OCM for April and May.

“There will not be any sporting activities or events over the next few months. The fund, which is governed by a board of trustees, will be used to assist NSAs which are genuinely affected by Covid-19.

“Some have been generating income through events or tournaments but in such unprecedented times, they lack an income stream but still have fixed income cost and overheads.”

“We need to help them stay afloat.”

He added all tenants at Wisma OCM will enjoy the 50 per cent discount, affiliate or not.

“The decision made was to be fair to all tenants. We have to take stock of what is happening today.

“Basically, we have to stay very lean and find new revenue streams. We at OCM will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and urge affiliates to raise their issues with us and hopefully we can assist them or present their case to the Youth and Sports Ministry or other stakeholders,” he added.