Yeoh urges Norza to stay on as BAM president ahead of Paris Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has urged Road to Gold (RTG) programme co-chair Tan Sri Norza Zakaria to reconsider his decision to step down as BA of Malaysia (BAM) president later this month.

Yeoh, in a statement released on social media today, said badminton players make up the majority of athletes in RTG and thus would like to "minimise disruption" to the programme ahead of next year's Paris Olympics.

In August, Norza said he would be stepping down as BAM president at the end of the year.

"RTG has been set up to survive abrupt leadership changes in the Youth and Sports Ministry as well as the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) by having two co-chairs," said Yeoh today.

"Having said that, I hope my (RTG) co-chair Norza will reconsider his decision to step down as BAM president.

"The Paris Olympics is just months away and badminton forms the majority block of participating athletes in the RTG setup.

"We need focus and minimise disruptions during such crucial preparation time."

Norza is also the OCM president.

RTG is an elite athlete preparation programme to provide cream-of-the-crop athletes the additional support to challenge for gold in Paris, LA2028 and other major international competitions.

In addition to sport science, competition exposure, equipment and coaching support, athletes under RTG also receive an additional allowance of RM3,000 a month.

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