Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Najib to sign Aussie deal on sports development

By Datuk Syed Nadzri
(Group Editor of New Straits Times)

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives in Canberra tonight for a series of high-profile meetings and gatherings, reciprocating his Australian counterpart's Kuala Lumpur stay last year.
The three-day visit will see Najib both in Canberra and in Melbourne and includes the ratification of a memorandum of understanding on sports development, which takes place tomorrow after a bilateral meeting.
Among the areas of collaboration being sought from Australia, which has an excellent sport culture, are:
- training and friendly matches for Malaysian athletes in Australia for hockey (men and women), football, swimming, cycling and athletics;
- coaching expertise to train our athletes in hockey, swimming, cycling and athletics;
- technical expertise in medical and sports science;
- continuing with the training of Malaysian national cyclists in Melbourne under the supervision of coach John Beasly; and,
- continuing with the training of aquatics elite athletes under Paul Thomas Birmingham in Kuala Lumpur.
Najib, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, will be accorded a formal welcome at Sydney's Parliament House tomorrow.
He and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will then begin bilateral talks and hold a joint press conference.

Former goalkeeper Nasihin to coach women

PIC: Nasihin Nubli (in blue) will coach the women's team.

FORMER national goalkeeper Nasihin Nubli has been named the chief coach of the national women's senior team, replacing Yahya Atan, who has been promoted to high performance director.
Prior to this appointment, Nasihin had been assisting Yahya since 2007.
Malaysian Women's Hockey Association (MWHA) secretary S. Shamala said Yahya will be in charge of both the national development and the 1MAS programmes.
"Yahya's experience is needed to ensure that the many tiers of national teams are formed and developed for the future," said Shamala yesterday.
"His first assignment will be to mould a national under-21 team for next year's Junior World Cup Qualifiers.
" The association will also work together with the Education Ministry to ensure our grassroot programmes take off well."
Nasihin's first task as the national coach will be the Champions Challenge 2, scheduled for Vienna on May 7-15. Malaysia are drawn in Group B with Belgium, Russia and Belarus while Group A comprises Chile, Canada, Italy and Austria.
Shamala believes the team, who have been in centralised training since last month, are good for the semi-finals.
"The association has arranged friendly matches with clubs from Japan and also national teams from Europe prior to the Champions Challenge 2," she added. -- AJITPAL SINGH