PUTRAJAYA: The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) is optimistic that the sports and recreation sector’s long wait to return to action can end soon with the setting up of the Rakan Muda – Sports Bubble Volunteers (SBV).
Its minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said KBS had submitted several new mechanisms including the setting up of SBV, which would ensure compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and advocate awareness programmes through the concept of community empowerment.
He said among the concerns of the National Security Council (MKN) on giving permission to the sports sector to operate during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2.0 was compliance with SOPs.
“I am confident that the level of compliance among those involved in sports is high, because they value health and fitness. SBV could be just the thing to convince MKN (to give the approval).
“I believe our frontliners such as the police and health workers are already burdened with responsibilities, we should not add more to that. ‘Community empowerment’ has been implemented in New Zealand and most parts in Australia. Implementing this measure will also indirectly put the slogan ‘kita jaga kita’ into practice,” he said in an interview at his office here yesterday.
Reezal Merican said volunteers would also help monitor SOP compliance for certain tournaments that will adopt the sports bubble concept, such as the Malaysian League (M-League).
He said since the registration for SBV was opened on KBS’ social media platform recently, it had already garnered over 2000 registrations, while the overall target is 4,000.
He was confident that if the mechanism succeeded, international tournaments could be organised soon, depending on the capability of the sports associations involved.
Reezal Merican also admitted that the sports industry could collapse if it was not revived.
“The loss can be permanent. For you to restart, build confidence and secure sponsors, it won’t be easy. It will be mentally challenging.
“At the moment, at least football is a source of escapism. Sports could also relieve mental stress while providing entertainment. Mental health issues are currently on the rise due to MCO,” he said. — Bernama