KLAS swimming programme to scout talents from B40 group
KUALA LUMPUR - The swimming class organised under the Basic Sports Training Skills Programme (KLAS Renang) for children between six and 12 years old from the B40 group can help scout new local swimming talents, said Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.
She said the programme, launched last May 13, was beginning to show positive development with participants able to master swimming techniques during a short period of time.
"If we don't help these children from the B40 group to get access to the swimming pool, then we miss the chance of finding talents from the group.
"By having a programme like this, the B40 group can get involved as well because in talent development, we must give access to all levels of society," she told reporters during a visit to a training centre under the programme in Kepong here today.
She said findings gathered from the KLAS program will be tabled to a committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, which was set up to focus on talent development for combat sports, athletics and swimming. According to Hannah, the KLAS Renang Series 1 received an encouraging response with 288 children out of a total of 720 participants having completed the training conducted in 18 districts in eight states, including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Sabah, Sarawak and Kelantan.
Following the encouraging response, she said the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) hoped to continue with the next series of the programme.
"The ministry is also drawing up a pilot project for KLAS Renang to be expanded to persons with disabilities (PwDs), senior citizens and children below the age of 6 years old.
"The programme is expected to start next month,” she added.
Prior to this, Hannah was reported to have said that her ministry had allocated RM400,000 this year for the KLAS: Swimming programme targeting the involvement of 720 children aged 6-12 years from the B-40 group, which aims to reduce the death rate due to drowning.
Citing statistics before the Covid-19 pandemic, she said as many as 500 children died from drowning a year, which is a high number. She said, for a start, the programme will be held in 18 districts in eight states this year - Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Kedah, Johor and Pahang - before being expanded to other places.
In another development, Hannah said the findings on the 'post mortem' of the performance of the national contingent at the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last month will be finalised next week.
At the 2023 SEA Games, Malaysia brought home a total of 34 gold, 45 silver and 97 bronze medals.
The national contingent collected 31 gold in the 1995 edition in Chiang Mai, Thailand. - BERNAMA