Tuesday January 15, 2013
NSC will revamp ‘pelapis’ programme to find new talent
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: As the saying goes, it’s better late than never.
And the National Sports Council (NSC) are banking on just that as they look to revamp the artistic gymnastics’ development (pelapis) programme in a bid to end the sport’s vicious cycle of a lack in new talents.
The sport is in a precarious position as the elite squad only have four gymnasts – Tracie Ang (pic), Tan Ing Yueh, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and Nur Eli Ellina Azmi.
It is one short of the mandatory five needed for competition and no talented juniors are forthcoming from the development programme to join the elite squad.
So to set things right, the NSC plan to appoint a new coach to get the development programme back on track.
“We have approximately 130 gymnasts aged between 7-12 currently training in various states around the country. We also have 13-14 year-olds training at state level but we’ll have to wait until after Sukma 2014 before we can select them for the programme,” said Jefri Ngadirin, the NSC’s development programme director.
“But we want to start the new cycle (2013-2016) on the right footing and get the development programme up and running again. But we can’t just hire anyone. We want to make sure we make a sound decision and pick the best candidate with the right credentials to elevate the sport. So far, we are looking at candidates from South Korea, Bulgaria and China. The MGF (Malaysian Gymnastics Federation) will also put in their recommendations.”
Jefri said it was a twist of events that resulted in the lack of talents in artistic gymnastics.
“We had a really good development programme that produced gymnasts at a healthy rate for the elite squad. But some of them started getting injuries. And one by one, they dropped out of the programme. The turnover was high and fast and that’s how the gap between the elite and development squad got too big. Hopefully, with the revamp, that will all change,” added Jefri