The Academy Concept, BAM move to Kiara, NFDP to Gambang, BJSS now reduced.

The shift begins.

Come January 2020, the Bukit Jalil Sports School will no longer cater for Football and Badminton players in their new intake of sidebars.

Instead the footballers will be based at the Akademi Mokhtar Dahari in Gambang run by the NSC under the National Football Development Program.

And the Badminton players will be housed at the Akademi Badminton Negara in Bukit Kiara.

Wise moves? It has its pros and cons, with the latter outweighing the former, looking at it in a holistic manner.

Firstly academies create a host of problems, most of it due to poor administrative abilities.

Putting talented players under a roof is fine, if it encompasses other sports rather then just one sport.

BAM had an academy of sorts in Taman Maluri, with a significance difference, it was tied up for academic purposes with the Garden International School.

However, after being behest with issues, both finance and above all lack of interest from parents, coupled with disciplinary matters, it eventually closed its doors.

Many may have forgotten the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia failed attempt to run such an academy at the National Tennis Center in Jalan Duta.

What about the academy started by Lim Teong Kim in the past, his first calling, not the NFDP, that saw him beating a hasty retreat?

While the classes are tailor made to accommodate training, in the end the midland environment will affect the players.

With only interaction amongst their own sport, this will somewhat curtail the natural development of players to interact in society.

In schools THT players have the opportunity to mix around, to get to know others, exchange thoughts and compete academically.

However in a closed environment, their outreach will be limited, their ability to think outside the box narrowed down and above all the competitive edge academically taken away.

The competitive edge should not be limited to just on the courts or the field.

It encompasses evolution, where a child moves from being a kid to a child, then a teenager and onwards to adulthood.

These is things that are natural and cannot be superficial let alone be imposed.

When making these decisions of putting kids in sport specific academies, do these sports administrators think if they will do the same to their own kids?

Will they in turn deny their own children the cycle of life of going to school, looking at life differently rather then a regimented lifestyle, hostel to courts, to classed to court, to classes.

It will soon be mundane and boredom will set in and then disciplinary issues will arise.

Remember when BAM house players in Kiara and then there were reports of them sneaking out, a wardens report was dismissed and ignored!

Who can forget the famous disco six episode at Wisma FAM.

Football had its attempt at academies with each state running their own having been given a grant by FAM.

Look at how they collapsed over the years.

And what about the NSC itself, when they built hostels after hostels to cater for full time Athletes.

Remember the sneaking back in the week hours in the morning by national Hockey players?

While the administrators may think this is a better option – so players can focus on the sport and academics, it could well fall flat on their faces in years to come.

I really hope I am proven wrong in years to come.

But if there arise a behest if issues, then may I suggest that these administrative geniuses never be allowed into any sport in the future.

Let’s just wait and see.