Last updated Sunday, September 25, 2016 5:01 pm GMT+8

Thursday September 22, 2016
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Paralympic athlete Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi (left) and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a welcoming ceremony at Kompleks Bunga Raya in Sepang, September 22, 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaParalympic athlete Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi (left) and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a welcoming ceremony at Kompleks Bunga Raya in Sepang, September 22, 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaSEPANG, Sept 22 — Coaches who guided athletes into becoming medal winners at the Rio Olympics and Paralympic Games will receive 30 per cent of the of the incentive for medal winners.

In announcing this, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the additional 10 per cent was from the original 20 per cent under the Athletes Incentive Scheme (SHAKAM) was in appreciation of the contributions of coaches in guiding their athletes.

“As an example, should a gold medallist receive an incentive of RM1 million, his coach will receive RM300,000,” he told reporters after the welcoming ceremony for national Paralympian heroes and heroines at the Bunga Raya Complex here.

Khairy said the SHAKAM presentation to athletes and coaches would be held on Oct 9 and the ceremony would be attended by the prime minister at a hotel in the federal capital.

In another development, he said the ministry would evaluate the performance of athletes under the Podium programme for the Olympic and Paralympic Games while not ruling out increasing the number of athletes under the programme.

Khairy said the ministry would discuss with the National Sports Council and the Malaysian Paralympic Council on a proposal to appoint a technical director to monitor the existing training programmes for national paralympic sports.

Meanwhile, he called on local private companies to appoint local normal or paralympic athletes as product ambassadors as they could add value to their organisations.

“If private companies could spend millions in appointing foreign athletes as their ambassadors, what’s wrong with taking local athletes such as the national gold medalists (paralympic) as their product ambassadors?

“The mention of names such as Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli, Abdul Latif Romly and Siti Radhiah Ismail, is identified with successes in the Paralympic Games in Rio...they have value to market products,” said Khairy.

In a separate development, Khairy is targeting the national Paralympic contingent to take the second position behind Thailand at the 2017 Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, considering the neighbouring country is a Paralympic powerhouse at Asean level.

“We have intense competition at Asean Para Games, Thailand is ahead with their paralympians, so realistically, I am targeting the overall number two and we will make the best preparations,” he said, adding the ministry was scouting for new talents among disabled people. — Bernama

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