Tap to listen to this article instead:
Female gymnasts from Terengganu, you may have to consider residing in another state or training with the national team at Bukit Jalil.
Why is this happening?
According to Channel News Asia, the Terengganu government said that the state will halt recruitment of female gymnasts, and focus on the all-male team instead. This was because of the “revealing attire” and “indecent moves” that are part of the sport.
Female gymnasts from the state who aspire to compete professionally on the national and international stage may need to relocate themselves as the guidelines set by the state government include withdrawing women from competing in all forms of gymnastics. Due to the guidelines, the Terengganu Gymnastics Association has decided to scale back on recruiting female athletes in the future.
After withdrawing their team of female gymnasts, the association will be working hard to train their male athletes for the upcoming trials. Even though Terengganu had sent a large group of female gymnasts to the Sukma Games in 2018, their female athletes will not be able to participate in Sukma 2020.
Because the Terengganu state government is led by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), these guidelines were written based on Islam and Syariah compliance. These guidelines address attire, coaching, physiotherapy treatment, and other aspects of sports that relate to training and competition.
Mr Wan Sukairi — the executive councillor of Terengganu’s Youth, Sports and NGO Development — explained that wearing “modest attires” for sports is to ensure the athlete’s welfare, as well as to prevent sexual misconduct from occurring. He continued by giving examples of reports regarding molestation and rape involving coaches.
You may be wondering what will happen to the existing female gymnasts in Terengganu. The head coach of the Terengganu Gymnastics Association, Ahmad Akramin mentioned that these female gymnasts will continue their training for the time being, but if they desire to further their achievements in the sport, they’re advised to train with the national team in Bukit Jalil or reside in another state.
All the best to the female gymnasts from Terengganu and we hope this isn’t an obstacle to stop them from pursuing their dreams in gymnastics.