The Cabinet Committee on sports has agreed to go ahead with the proposed High Performance Training Centre in Brickendonbury, which is to be the forward base for national athletes competing in Europe. However the contraversial issue of spending RM 490 million is hoped to be silenced since the intensity of the project is not as what has been debated. This is because there will be no extra cost to set up the training centre
There will be no new building since the centre will be using whatever is available at the Tun Abdul Razak Rubber Research Centre (TARRC).
Datuk Najib Tun Abdul Razak was quoted by The Star as saying;
“We have looked at several proposals and there are many benefits for our teams in having the HPTC. Football and cycling are two sports which can gain from a long stay at the HPTC. In London, they will get to compete against the Europeans and also there is a host of competitions for the cyclists to take part.
“We also want to see our junior football teams gain exposure in UK, especially the Under-17 and Under-20 boys,” said Najib at a press conference here yesterday.
The plan also includes getting the junior football teams to play in as many matches against the English club sides and take advantage of the many competitions in Europe.
Football, one of the eight core sports under the national agenda, has come under fire for the national team’s poor showing in international matches.
Datuk Najib, who chaired the Cabinet Committee for the Development of Sports yesterday, list out four possible elements had been outlined for athletes to use the training centre to win exposure in Europe.
• The centre becomes the anchor for the under-17 and under-19 football teams to play against clubs in the English Premiership and around Europe.
• The centre is used for short-term stints for sports like archery and in situations where athletes can train under foreign coaches who are unable to come to Malaysia.
• Cyclists based at the centre will train and compete in quality competitions in Europe.
• The centre acts as a transit point for athletes competing in the region, including pre- world championship training for the badminton squad.
“We also want feedback from national associations on how the centre can be utilised by them.”
The Squash Rackets Association Malaysia is likely to base its players at the centre again when they compete in the British Junior Open in January.
NST added ;
“We need to expose the athletes. Being based overseas will make them independent and since we have our own land, why shouldn’t our athletes use it.?
“No additional costs will be incurred as we will be using existing facilities. We have considered the views of the public on the matter, and we did not make a RM490 million proposal to the Cabinet (to build a sports complex).
“The figure was put forward by consultants but we never considered it,” she added.