KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Bernama) - Back up programmes in states can end a shortage of silat exponents and ensure continuity of silat exponents with caliber to represent the country says the Malaysian National Silat Federation (PESAKA).
PESAKA coordinator Osman Nok said three silat exponents from back up programmes had recently displayed superb performances when Malaysia won seven gold medals at the World Silat Open Championships in France early in March.
The three from the back up squad were Ahmad Iqram Rahim, Norfarhana Ismail and Mohammad Faizul while Ahmad Shahril Zailudin, Emi Latip, Fauzi Khalid and Faizal Abdullah from the elite squad won the remaining four.
"This is a tremendous development and an indication that the country's prowess in silat can be revived or maintained by the young exponents and go on to replace the elite exponents one day," he told Bernama.
Osman said there were 14 back up programme centres throughout the country and has about 1,000 young exponents between the ages of 11 and 17, undergoing training.
To ensure such programmes continued to progress, Osman said the National Sports Council (NSC) had agreed to pay allowances for silat coaches in the states.
Osman said to attract youngsters to take up silat, PESAKA had provided a number of guidelines for coaches, including to focus on the combat form of silat (silat olahraga) as compared with the artistic form (silat seni).
"In the past, youngsters regarded silat as a boring activity because its movements were more of a dance form, very artistic, compared with other combat sports like taekwondo or karate. But such perception has changed," he said.