NSC budget cuts set to hit coaches hard

The National Sports Council's (NSC) budget cuts and practice of not offering contracts for coaches aged above 60, are set to hit national para-athletes hard.

While NSC have yet to decide on the coaches who will not get their contract renewal, the situation is worrying to para-athletes.

With the 2024 Paris Paralympic only two years away, the preparation for qualification in the next two years is crucial.

Former world champion Ridzuan Puzi, who failed to defend his men's 100m T36 (physical impairment) gold at last year's Tokyo Paralympic, is hoping for a last hurrah in Paris.

However, the fate of his coach R. Jeganathan, who is also the Para Athletic head coach, remains unknown, and this has left him in a fix.

"Coach Jega is a good person... he understands us well and he has promised to fight together with me to qualify to Paris," said the 34-year-old 2015 world champion who won gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic.

"Coach Jega, please return to us... let us make our comeback in the 2024 Paris Paralympic."

It is learnt that most Para coaches are still in negotiation with NSC but the budget cuts are expected to hit them hard and jeopardise the national Paralympic programme.

Para-athletes have always delivered at the big stage for the country. Malaysia recorded their best ever achievement at the Paralympics since the 1972 Heidelberg edition by bagging three gold and two silver in Tokyo last year.

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