The hotest topic after the recently concluded World Cup is probably the government’s plan to set up a training centre in Hertfordshire, UK. The project iniated by the Minister of Youth and Sports, YB. Datuk Azalina Othman Said sparkes a debate among Malaysian. From what I read majority is against the idea. Well, to spend RM 490 million on a training centre in foreign land can be view of wasting the tax payers money. We can ask how many Malaysia athletes can benefit from that project. How many Malaysian coaches can learn from foreign coaches based at the centre. If the returns is not worth the spending then I think better scrap the idea. Just imagine how many more sports facilities can be build with that RM40m and if the facility can’t produce wiorld champions at least the people who pay tax and vote for the present government benefit from it.
As someone who works in the sports industry , and being a former coach, I see that training oversea can be beneficial to our athletes since they are more exposed to high class competetitions. Our tops class athletes have no good sparring partner in the country and hence need more exposure. To be a winner is to adapt to a competitors level of skill. To spar with the best partner who is way below his level of skills and experience will do no good to an athlete.
I think the government will look at the proposed idea again and build that facilities at home or use the available facilities (said to be world class), bring foreign coaches and expertise (if needed), bring high class sparring partner (promoting sport tourism). More people can learn this way.