Thursday, 31 March 2011

Recognition For Malaysia's Sports Science Institute

By Zulhilmi Supaat


This article on the National Sports Institute (ISN) is in conjunction with ISN's 15th year at the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (Bernama) -- The National Sports Institute (ISN) that came into being in 1992 is set to emerge as an independent sports science institution by the year-end.

At present, ISN is an institute under the National Sports Council (MSN) with its core activities relating to research, treatment and consultation encompassing all aspects of sports.

According to ISN's Director-General Datuk Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz, the ISN bill to recognize the institute as an institution in its own right was tabled early this month in the Parliament and expected to be approved by the year-end.

From its humble beginnings in 1983 as the Sports Science Division of MSN with its initial setup located at the Stadium Jalan Raja Muda(then TPCA Stadium), ISN shifted to its current location, the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex on April 1, 1996.

Now after establishing its presence in Bukit Jalil for almost 15 years, ISN has gained greater recognition it its quest to help Malaysian athletes and the public in sports and exercise.

SERVING THE PUBLIC AND SPORTS FRATERNITY

While ISN was established to provide services to athletes, coaches and sports officials, its daily clinic also serves as an outpatient clinic for the public.

ISN's medical officer Dr Jasmiza Khuzairi Jasme noted that athletes and the public could seek consultation on treatment relating to sports injuries or even common cold.

However, the sports science specialist clinics are open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only with visiting specialists like Prof Dr Lim Wai Kong (Universiti Putra Malaysia), Dr Mohd Shariff A.Hamid (Universiti Malaya Medical Centre) and Dr Abd Halim Mokhtar (Universiti Malaya's Sports Science Faculty Dean) providing their services.

The ISN clinic is headed by its medical director Dr Victor Feizal Abdul Shatar Knight, and assisted by Dr Kamarul Hashimy Husain and Dr Jasmiza.

The medical officers are assisted by seven medical assistants, six nurses, two radiographers, two medical lab technologist, 12 physiotherapists and 14 masseurs and administrative staff.

ISN CLINIC PATRONISED BY ATHLETES

Even right from the start when the clinic was in Stadium Jalan Raja Muda, elite track and field athlete like Nur Herman Majid, national shuttlers Razif Sidek and Jalani Sidek, Yap Kim Hock/Cheah Soon Kit, Rashid Sidek, national bowler Shalin Zulkifli and the members of the national hockey squad sought consultation at the clinic.

Those who have sought consultation with ISN clinic in Bukit Jalil are national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei, world number one squash player Datuk Nicol Ann David and track cycling rider Mohd Azizulhasni Awang.

Many of the athletes come to seek treatment for the injuries that they had sustained during meets or training including lumbar pain, sprain or broken bones.

Even Mohd Azizulhasni who returned from Melbourne, Australia two weeks ago is undergoing follow up treatment at ISN for the injuries he sustained in his left thigh during a meet in Manchester.

Last year, 5,953 people sought treatment with ISN out of which 67 were foreigners and 16 dignitaries.

In 2009, a total of 8,600 people sought treatment with ISN and in 2008 the number was 7,536.

Dr Jasmiza pointed out almost half of the patients at ISN sought treatment for sports related injuries and the rest were normal outpatients.

The most serious medical problems handled by ISN relating to athletes are heart and lumbar problem.

Even the treatment sought by the public with ISN is often related to injuries during sporting activities or exercise.

He said though there were many private medical institutions offering sports science medicine, the ISN is preferred choice especially for injuries relating to the knees.

"Moreover, the treatment cost at ISN is more affordable compared with the cost at a private medical centre," he said.

SERVING ATHLETES PARTICIPATING IN OVERSEAS MEET

The medical team at ISN also monitors closely athletes getting ready for overseas meets.

For example, the seven events in the 'Road to London 2012'(RTL) campaign have dedicated medical teams respectively to closely monitor the athletes' preparations.

A total of 46 ISN sports science officers -psychologists, dietitians, bio-mechanic experts, conditioning experts and competition analysts - are now attached to the cycling, badminton, diving, shooting, archery, football and hockey teams.

All the seven teams have five to seven sports science officers from ISN who will help in Malaysia's quest to win the first gold in Olympics during the London Olympics in 2012.

As for the teams undergoing training overseas like the track cycling team in Melbourne, Australia, ISN has sent along its team to help in their preparation.

The medical team also sends feedback to Bukit Jalil for further evaluation by experts in ISN.

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