By Shazwan Zulkiffli

BAHASA MALAYSIA

The story of how Joseph Schooling once represented Perak in a youth swimming competition was the talk of the town as Malaysians questioned the ability of the Malaysian government to nurture budding young athletes in the country, especially in the light of accusations from Keirin bronze medalist Azizulhasni Awang that the Terengganu Menteri Besar had ignored requests for support and training bikes for himself and fellow cyclist Fateha Mustapa.

Athletes such as Azizulhasni Awang, Pandelela Rinong and Goh Liu Yeng have already shown their skills to be equal to the world stage and their capability to be a great examples for young athletes at the school level – and are set to replace Dato’ Lee Chong Wei as national sporting icons when he inevitably hangs up his racquet after the badminton World Championships next year. Football-wise, Malaysia has also succeeded in producing a batch of decent players, namely Safiq Rahim, Safee Sali, and Norsharul Idlan Talaha, who all contributed during our success at the AFF Suzuki Cup. The question is, are there heirs to their thrones? Can the young replace and exceed our currently-soaring athletes at the highest level of sports?

It’s disappointing to say that we are far from answering that question, and even if we were to answer that, the signs all point towards ‘no’. We at the Level and most Malaysians will always be behind our national athletes, no matter the achievements. However, that means the authorities must give the best to the athletes, the country, and the sports themselves. How can the athletes deliver the best, if they are not facilitated in a way that their development is prioritized? How can we produce young champions when sport schools are in bad shape?

This is Sekolah Menengah Seksyen 11 Shah Alam, located near to the Istana Kayangan Selangor, Shah Alam. This school has a legacy of producing star athletes, notably Safiq Rahim, Nazmi Faiz, Mahali Jasuli, Asrarudin Omar, Zulmazran Zulkifli and many more. Dubbed as one of the best sports school in Malaysia, even Premier League giants Arsenal FC recognized the school and gave them a visit with forwards Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making an appearance to celebrate the success of the school, especially in football.

Sadly, the school looks like it’s in a less than acceptable condition for the size of its legend.

Even though the school is near to the city centre of Shah Alam, it looks like a forgotten memory that was left unremembered – even though the school is still operating today!

Due to the situation, the head of Sponsors and Donations department Aezza Mazri held a charity dinner in hopes of collect funds to help maintain the school. Here’s what she said (emphasis ours):

“Assalamualaikum dan salam sejahtera, semoga Dato-Dato dan Tuan Puan berada dalam rahmat Allah SWT selalu hendaknya.

Saya dengan rendah hati ingin memanjangkan rayuan sekolah saya iaitu SMKS11 dan PIBG dalam mencari dana untuk tabung sekolah.

Jualan meja untuk majlis amal ini akan diadakan pada 20 Ogos 2016. (Rujuk surat yang dilampirkan).

Sehingga tarikh 12/8/16 tabung terkumpul ialah sebanyak RM33,410.00. Ianya masih jauh daripada usaha kita untuk mengumpul sekurang-kurangnya RM80K walaupun masa tinggal kurang dua minggu lagi.

Kutipan tabung ini adalah untuk memperbaiki banyak prasarana dalam kawasan sekolah. Bermula dengan jalan masuk ke sekolah yang berlekuk-lekuk dalam, banting dan banner yang usang, dewan sekolah yang tidak mempunyai pintu utama dan syiling yang reput, ketiadaan air di makmal-makmal dan bengkel-bengkel yang sudah berlarutan bertahun-tahun, kekurangan yang nyata dalam bilik-bilik kelas dan banyak lagi yang memerlukan kos untuk memperbaikinya.

Murid SMKS11 adalah seramai 330 orang dan hanya ada dalam 40 orang sahaja murid luar termasuk beberapa murid sekitar Seksyen 11. Majoriti datang daripada seluruh Selangor dan ramai murid sekolah ini yang tinggal di kampung-kampung. 20% murid di sini adalah murid miskin. Hasil daripada kaji selidik yang saya lakukan pada bulan Mei lepas mendapati bahawa seramai 48% murid di sini tidak mempunyai capaian internet di rumah mereka.

Oleh itu, PIBG tidak pernah memperolehi sumbangan penuh melalui yuran PIBG tahunan murid.

Adalah besar harapan kami sekiranya ada ahli komuniti sekitar yang tinggal berdekatan dengan SMKS11 ini yang sudi menyumbang wang ringgit untuk menambah tabung dana kami untuk menambahbaik persekitaran belajar anak-anak di SMKS11 ini.

SMKS11 hanya mampu memberi jamuan biasa di dewan sekolah sebagai tanda ucapan terima kasih di atas sumbangan, selebihnya hanya Allah jua yang dapat membalasnya kelak.

Sekian, wassalam.”

As a former student of SMK Seksyen 11, I’m deeply saddened to see the once mighty name in youth sports looks tame and jaded – a pale shadow of its former, and rightful, glory. This school needs to be well maintained by the state government and the Ministry of Sports and Youth in order to produce more athletes like Safiq Rahim or even Lee Chong Wei.

As Malaysians, there’s no use in only grumbling and complaining on social media if you don’t act on it and lend a hand – and that includes government agencies that yearn for change and a positive improvement in our national sports at the highest level. A word or two is good for awareness, but it won’t make any difference really. If we want nights like last night, where Dato Lee Chong Wei succeeded in bringing Malaysians together despite the differences in skin color, beliefs and political philosophies, this is what we have to do – for the future of our country.

BAHASA MALAYSIA

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