Thursday, 19 November 2009

Zaiton Othman Wins OCM Women And Sport Award

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 (Bernama) -- Former 'iron lady of athletics', Zaiton Othman was crowned as winner of the Women and Sport Award 2009, at a glittering Awards Dinner organised by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), here on Wednesday night.

Zaiton, 50, a former heptathlete who dominated the event in South East Asia for more than a decade, was adjudged winner for her untiring efforts to increase women participation in sports and assisting them to pursue excellence.

She received her award from deputy minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Razali Ibrahim.

Born in Kepala Batas, Penang in 1959, Zaiton started her illustrious athletics career with a gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1978.

She then contributed another gold in the same event in her first SEA Games in 1979 in Jakarta before finally retiring from competitive participation after the 1989 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

A trained physical educationist and sports psychologist, Zaiton is a full time sports officer with the National Sports Council and is currently the Director for Athletes Welfare.

Meanwhile, OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar said the award was given annually to any individual or group that made outstanding and significant contribution to the promotion, development and advancement of women in any sport or sport related activities.

"However, we have not been very successful in our efforts to produce women leaders and decision-makers like coaches, technical officials, administrators, managers and sports scientists. Obviously, this has to be our next focus," Tunku Imran said in his welcoming address.

He said Malaysia's efforts have had limited success in wanting to see women athletes participation in the Olympic Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games but that it was steadily increasing and the country has produced a few women world beaters like Nicol David (squash), Siti Zalina Ahmad (lawn bowl), Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman (tenpin bowling) and Wong Mew Choo (badminton).

Tunku Imran said since the OCM Women and Sport Committee started organising these awards in 2003, 22 people had received the awards.

Winners included coaches, presidents and secretaries of sports association and even sports journalists.

Besides the Women and Sport Award, there were also five other awards presented in various categories.

Roll of Honour:

OCM Women and Sport Award, 2009 - Zaiton Othman

Women and Sport Leadership Award - Tunku Dara Tunku Naquiah

Women and Sport Award for Grassroots Development - Faridah Osman

Women and Sport Partnership Award - Ann Marie & Desmond David (parents of Nicol David) and Abdul Rahman & Faudziah Mokhtar (parents of Siti Safiyah Amirah).


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