NSC DG Shapawi retires, successor still a mystery

MELAKA: After almost four decades in sports administration, National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail retired today.

Shapawi, who turned 60, is believed to have rejected a new contract as he wants to enjoy his retirement years.

He has helmed NSC since 2014 but has been suffering health issues recently.

"I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity by the government to serve - especially in sports development - since 1988," said Shapawi today.

"I started as a part-time official before being given a permanent position.

"Of course, there have been plenty highs and lows over the years.

"Among the proud moments include (Malaysia) finishing fourth overall at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. Being the host nation was also quite a challenge.

"We also did well at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.

"A number of sports were developed via the Jaya 98 programme which allowed them to reach the level they are at now.

"We have also been able to win gold medals at the Paralympics.

"My only regret is that we have yet to achieve our target of winning a first Olympic gold medal. I pray that we will be able to achieve our breakthrough."

Shapawi hopes that his successor will place a strong emphasis on developing high performance sports in Malaysia.

Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has yet to announce Shapawi's replacement.

"The individual must use creativity and form (well) coordinated programmes which are streamlined at the state and federal level as well as between national sports associations (NSA) and NSC," he said.

"There also has to be strong cooperation with the Olympic Council of Malaysia and Paralympic Council of Malaysia. Everyone has to work together as a team, it is the only way (to achieve success).

"I am already looking forward to spending time with my family and playing with my grandchildren. But if any NSAs need my help, I am willing to do so.

"Everyone involved in sports must remember that we have to do our best for the country."

Shapawi was met at the finish line of the sixth stage of Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) in Melaka. He is the chairman of the organising committee for the race.

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