Agong’s involvement in sports to inspire country’s athletes

Agong’s involvement in sports to inspire country’s athletes

KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s involvement in the field of sports is hoped will be the catalyst for national athletes to make the country proud in the international stage.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said His Majesty had been professional in carrying out his duties in the field, especially in football and hockey.

“It is hoped that His Majesty’s involvement in sports prior to this will continue to be a catalyst for all national athletes to continue to make the country proud in the international arena,” he said during his speech at the 2018 National Sports Awards (ASN) last night.

He said throughout the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s involvement in hockey, the country’s junior and senior squads had achieved numerous accolades.

“At the international stage, Tuanku was also highly revered among world sports leaders, which resulted in him being elected as one of the International Football Federation’s (FIFA) executive council members and the president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF),” he said.

Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq hoped that more athletes would be eligible to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“Some of the sports involved in qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be on a tight schedule.

“Apart from the two sailing athletes who have qualified, I am looking forward to more athletes and sporting disciplines (from Malaysia) to be eligible to compete in the world’s biggest sporting event in 2020 as well as see the country achieve its first gold medal at the Games next year,” he said.

Syed Saddiq also said that the Ministry of Youth and Sports had always taken seriously the welfare and needs of athletes, especially after their retirement.

He said national athletes were the country’s assets, and hence, should be rewarded accordingly.

“For those who have been nominated or otherwise, know that the National Sports Award is an award from all Malaysians for your long journey.

“Thank you for lifting Malaysia’s prestige. Thank you for your sacrifices in the pursuit of success which will ultimately be shared by the whole nation,” he said.

At the glittering ceremony, national tenpin bowler Muhammad Rafiq Ismail was crowned National Sportsman of the Year 2018 while gymnast Amy Kwan Dict Weng was named the National Sportswoman.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave away the prizes to the winners.

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