KUALA LUMPUR: The Foundation of Women Community in Sports (Fowcus) today said it would work closely with the relevant authorities to further the interests of female athletes in the country.
Its president, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the Youth and Sports Ministry and related agencies must look into the plight of all athletes, regardless of their gender and race.
She said Fowcus was upset that the achievements by Shereen Vallabouy recently were not highlighted and given the due recognition it deserved.
Last Saturday, Shereen won the women's indoor 400 metres title at the 2021-22 US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division II track and field campaign. The achievement of 53.79 seconds at the Pittsburg State University, Kansas also marked a new Malaysian record.
"Her achievements should have been met with joy and jubilation, especially from the relevant sporting bodies," said Zuraida in a statement.
She said this sends the wrong message to the sporting community, especially local athletes who have sacrificed plenty to put Malaysia on the global sporting map.
All over the world, Zuraida said female athletes faced more challenges than their male counterparts and Fowcus is committed to championing their plight in Malaysia.
She said Fowcus will send a memorandum to the Youth and Sports Minister urging the Ministry and the National Sports Council to give due recognition to Shereen's achievements and those like
"Fowcus will also work closely with KBS to further the interests of women athletes in the country," she added.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah had earlier expressed their pride and joy at the success of Shereen in bringing glory to Malaysia on the world stage.
Shereen, who is the daughter of former national athletes Samson Vallabuoy and Josephine Mary, is currently pursuing studies in the field of recreation and tourism at the Winona State University, Minnesota.
IMAGE: Fowcus president Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the Youth and Sports Ministry and related agencies must look into the plight of all athletes, regardless of their gender and race. - NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH