PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic) described this year’s National Sports Day celebration as a meaningful one as last year’s celebration could not be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his speech when opening the National Sports Day 2021 celebration at the Youth and Sports Ministry on Saturday (Oct 9), Ismail Sabri said this year’s celebration, which is held in a hybrid and virtual manner, was to celebrate the efforts and success in culturising sports and recreation as outlined in the National Sports Policy 2009.
He said since National Sports Day was first celebrated in 2015, sports and recreational activities had become a national agenda in producing healthy, active and fit citizens.
“Having been a Youth and Sports minister once, I understand the commitment required from all quarters to make the event a success,” he said and congratulated Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and the ministry for their efforts in ensuring Saturday’s event was celebrated simultaneously across the country.
In conjunction with this year’s National Sports Day, the Youth and Sports Ministry has planned several programmes at the national level, including the Mega Aerobics Challenge and virtual run.
Ismail Sabri said the government was aware that the entire sports ecosystem was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing a total of 1,968 sports-related businesses having to close operation last year.
Most of them are promoters and organisers of sports events, retail businesses of sporting goods, fitness centres and sports instructors, he added.
“In line with the government’s principle of ensuring no one is left behind and marginalised, the worries and concerns of those in the sports sector will continue to be given attention by the government,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, on July 5 this year, the Youth and Sports Ministry announced several initiatives specifically to help sports industry players affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ismail Sabri said the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the sports and recreation sector under the National Recovery Plan was an initial initiative to ensure that activities could resume.
He said that since the reopening of sports and recreational activities in Sept 9, the participation in sports activities had exceeded 1.4 million people, including in motor sports and extreme sports.
Ismail Sabri said the people should make sports and recreation a new norm as a daily practice to ensure a healthy, active and fit Malaysian Family.- Bernama