Terengganu Puts A Stop In Young Girls’ Dreams of Becoming Gymnasts

terengganu puts a stop in young girls’ dreams of becoming gymnastsPhoto: Malaysian Gymnastics Federation

For many young girls in the field of sports, working hard and pursuing one’s passion of becoming professional athletes would be a dream come true.

However, that dream might just be taken away for those in Terengganu, after the state decided to prohibit young girls to participate in gymnastics.

A recent report by Channel NewsAsia revealed the fate of female gymnasts in the State of Terengganu that had prohibited the participation of girls in gymnastics citing “revealing attire and indecent moves” as reasons.

As a result, the Terengganu Gymnastics Association, which scout talents and trains them for school and state competitions, plans to scale back on recruiting promising female athletes in the near future as per the guidelines from the state government.

terengganu puts a stop in young girls’ dreams of becoming gymnastsPhoto: Malaysian Gymnastics Federation

Last September, the Terengganu state government announced that they are drafting a shariah compliant code of conduct for athletes, and they even invited fashion designers to contribute suggestions and ideas on shariah-compliant attire. The new guidelines will not only cover what athletes wear but also how they socialise and conduct themselves during events. 

Based on the article by Free Malaysia Today, the Youth Development, Sports and Non-Government Development Committee chairman, Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah also said the state will withdraw from several sport events that do not conform to Islamic rules and that no exception can be made for rhythmic gymnastics and women’s gymnastics as they display indecent movements.

In response to this, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman declared that he will not stand for the new guidelines and will allow for the ministry itself to absorb the female athletes who are being discriminated against if and when the new guidelines are implemented.

In his interview with Channel NewsAsia, he also mentioned that Terengganu had been inconsistent with the whole issue as they earlier informed him that they will allow women gymnasts to participate in the 2020 Sukma Games before reporting to the media something completely different. “Uncertainty kills talents,” said Saddiq.

The minister tweeted that he will personally meet up with the athletes affected to ensure that their future in Gymnastics will not be compromised.