MUSCAT, Sept 1 – Absence of right planning, lack of systematic preparation and lack of technical and human resources at the sports associations and various clubs are some of the main reasons behind Oman’s poor campaign at the Asian Games in Jakarta, according to a local expert. Dr Suleiman al Balushi, former official of Oman Olympic Committee (OOC), said Oman missed the right planning and ended campaign without any medal in the ongoing Asian Games which will conclude on Sunday in Indonesia.
“We have the readiness in terms of sports infrastructure in the Sultanate. However, we are facing some issues in the implementation of the sports systems through clubs. Board members of the clubs are not managing their clubs in a suitable way. Therefore, Ministry of Sports Affairs and local community are advised to control and take part in this change for better as the clubs is the right place to produce talented athletes,” Al Balushi said.
“Oman’s sport policies and rules did not change since 1980s and this is a result how the clubs are managed currently. We are all familiarised with financial issues of the clubs. That reason is a consequence that local community is not taking part actively in the club affairs. However, if we want to move on, it is required to reestablish the correct structure and set the goals to be achieved within a frame time,” the former OOC official pointed out.
He affirmed that Oman as a country does not have any financial issues in the sports field. The expenses are high but it is not handled well, he said.
“Therefore, we have to frame all our strategic goals and focus on some individual sports to gain medals in Asian Games and Olympics. Participating with big number of athletes who are representing different games are not the proper way to win the medals, Dr Suleiman said. Al Balushi explained that all the parties including: the ministry, OOC, associations/committee, clubs, local committees and media are responsible for the latest disappointing results in Asian Games. Also, he invited all the above parties for a big workshop to have a better evaluation and all to work on the weakness points to be improved.
He said the Sultanate has some projects to produce champions in athletics, but is not properly managed. “We have a project for producing athletic champions. However, since the project has failed to deliver we need to review it. Any sport is linked with proper plans and scheduled timing to achieve your goals and targets,” Suleiman al Balushi added. For instance, Kenya is successfully managing a project for producing champion long-distance runners. The Kenyan authorities spotted their talents in long-distance running since it suited their stature and life-style, Al Balushi said. “In Oman, we have to implement and focus on the lower level age categories and establish the right environment for them in order to come out with the required results, he concluded.
Adil Al Balushi