Call to arms for Malaysians to move from a Sport-Loving Nation to a Sporting Nation.
5 reasons why we need this:
- Our performance at the Commonwealth Games have shown us that we have a long way to go to competing at the elite level. Much of this is down to the fact that the base from which we draw our talent from is narrow. If we’re to ever improve, we’re going to have to widen that base by ensuring that more and more people get involved in sports and fitness.
- Malaysia tops the SEA rankings for both obesity and diabetes. Almost 4.4 million Malaysians are obese, 15.2% have diabetes, 32.7% have hypertension, and 35% have high cholesterol. This has great impact not only on public coffers but our standard of living. To overcome this, changes have to be made not only to our nutrition and diet, but our way of life.
- Sport is one of the great unifier in our country. Supporting Lee Chong Wei, Nicol David or our Malaysian football team bring us together in a way that few things do, in a non-superficial way (food, basically). Right now, people either operate in sporting silos where ethnicity don’t mix, or in the rare instances that they do, they tend to be forced and inorganic.
- Most urbanites feel removed from their local communities and local facilities. Building legacies within communities are important to ensure a sense of ownership and continuity.
- It’s important for sport and fitness activities to be inclusive, not only across ethnicity and income, but across gender and disability lines. Programmes done under the #FitMalaysia umbrella have to be accessible to these groups. Women’s fitness and sports for the disabled have to be important pillars of these programmes, which include women’s self-defense and paralympic sport programmes.
There will be a FitMalaysia event in each state, which will lead up to a National Sports Day in 2015.
These events comprise the following activities;
- Walking/Jogging/Running – We’ll organise these across short distances; 5km and 10km.
- Cycling – 15km cycle
- Martial Arts – Traditional martial arts like karate, silambam, taekwondo, and contemporary ones like Urban Self Defense, with an emphasis on women’s defence.
- General Fitness Activities – Among other, these include bootcamp, TRX training, crossfit, yoga, zumba, aerobics, tai chi, and bar-risan.
All these activities have the following in common; no additional equipment is needed, they’re easy to learn, they’re effective, can be done alone or in a group, they’re not time-consuming and they’re not costly.
These programmes will showcase elements of sports science and sports medicine, with health checkups, fitness tests, nutritional advice, and workout programmes all available for the rakyat to enjoy. We’ll also have sports equipment and apparel sales by our sponsors and invited partners.
The programmes serve a dual purpose; firstly, to bring people together to exercise and learn the latest ways to get/keep fit, and secondly, to facilitate community-building in sports. The programmes cannot exist in isolation, and a legacy of fitness has to be left behind after every programme. There has to be a measurable change to people’s lifestyles from FitMalaysia for it to succeed.
For that, in ensuring continuity, these programmes will involve stakeholders like state and local sports associations, youth associations, sports and recreation clubs, fitness groups and local community associations. At the completion of each of the state’s programmes, a FitMalaysia legacy document will be passed on to them as a template for them to use to curate activities of their own within their communities. The Ministry will also set up a discretionary fund to allow them to facilate these activities, and will disburse no more than RM1,000 per activity.
Our legacy of fitness will also be complemented by the fit.my portal. Besides highlighting the latest events, nutritional advice, workout support, fitness partners, and health metrics, the website will have a ‘buddy’ system which will allow for people to exercise with others in their localities.
TegapTV Malaysia was chosen as the Ambassador for Fit Malaysia. See you at the launching of the programme on 7 September 2014 (Sunday) at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.