by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by ARIF KARTONO
THE Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) is initiating a sports bubble to stir activities and resume the nation’s sports industry.
Sultan Idris Education University Student and Alumni Affairs deputy vice chancellor Prof Dr Md Amin Md Taff said there are many job opportunities in the sports industry that can contribute to the country’s economic and social developments.
“The Movement Control Order, which was implemented last year, gave challenging implications to the industry to the point that many lost their source of income, leaving all international, continental and national sports events to the risk of suspension or cancellation.
“This sports bubble is introduced to allow every sports activity to be held without a risk of Covid-19 infection,” he said, adding that the bubble takes the example of the National Basketball Association from the US.
“Each athlete will be quarantined first for a prescribed period and undergo two Covid-19 screening tests before being allowed to play,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Previously, KBS Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (picture) was reported to have said the ministry is committed to ensuring all local and international sports tournaments can be implemented again this year via the introduction of a sports bubble.
KBS is also studying some sports bubble models used abroad like football matches.
Md Amin is confident that the initiative will be carried out on time despite challenges such as costs, accommodations for athletes and time constraints.
“I believe KBS has found a suitable solution to ensure that the nation’s sports industry can move forward albeit with new ways. “I hope that all athletes can adhere to the standard operating procedure, so they can perform well without the risk of transmitting Covid-19,” he said.
Meanwhile, former national sepak takraw athlete Azlan Mubin said the initiative undertaken by the ministry gives not only hope to players but is also heavily anticipated by athletes.
“This sports bubble model is the most realistic move to restart the sports industry because the athlete’s performance is measured via tournaments.
“This model will have a positive impact on every athlete because their performance can be evaluated not just for personal development but also for their eligibility for the Olympics and other big events,” he said.