08 December 2019

Government & Sports Stakeholders are Equals

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has a new captain at the wheel. Officially serving as the Minister of Youth and Sports since October 23, Zainuddin Amali’s schedule is certainly very busy. OB Golf met the former of House of Representatives member (2004-2019) during a visit to the national golf team training camp at Emeralda Golf Club, just a few days after his inauguration. 
The 57-year-old from Gorontalo aims to pursue as much as he can related to his new position in the Ministry. Chatting with OB Magazine, Amali shared his knowledge and ideas about how the Ministry of Youth and Sports can develop sports in Indonesia and also spoke a little about golf as his personal hobby.

What was the first thing that came to your mind when you were appointed as Minister of Youth and Sports? 

I imagined my work would be big and heavy. The challenges are extraordinary both in youth affairs and sports, especially in sports. Why? Because our society's expectations of sporting achievements are extraordinary. Current technological advances make it easier for us to watch various world matches. That makes our society think, can we be like them? That raises big expectations that our sportspeople must be achievers. That's what I originally imagined. But, I have the belief that for any work, if done together with all stakeholders, there is always a solution, no matter how difficult. I am optimistic. Hopefully, this gets the support of all parties.

What is the role of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in relation to the development of sports in the country?

The Ministry of Youth and Sports as a government institution is obliged to facilitate, foster, and monitor the development of sports. The limit is there because the rest is technically the business of the organizations of the sports branches. We cannot go too deep, especially in sports that have international organizations, such as football with FIFA or basketball with FIBA. We must obey the rules there. The government must see whether we go too deep or do we intervene.

Do you have a few steps or perhaps innovations related to sports development in the country in the future?

The President ordered us that all programs must have a clear output. The output of sport is very clear: achievement, besides fitness and public health. These are programs in the Ministry of Youth and Sports today. I have asked my friends in this ministry to review what and how we do, what the goals are, and what the results will be for this nation. There cannot be just a program because the State money or the National Budget funds it. Therefore, there cannot be a single rupiah that deviates from the goals.

Is there a special concentration on sports that have greater potential for achievement?

Speaking of concentration, we look at the Olympic numbers and the branches of sports that competed in the Olympics. Then, sports at the Asian Games and SEA Games. But, we must also be aware of our own abilities. Only a few sports can perform well at the Olympics. We continue to run that. We also encourage other sports to be able to show their achievements on a global level. In the near future, we will specifically focus on holding the U21 World Cup in 2021 in Indonesia. We don't want Indonesia to just be the organizer with the team has been eliminated in the initial rounds, we want to be successful in organizing and achieving success.

What is the synergy between Kemenpora and national sports bodies, such as the Indonesian Golf Association?

We treat all sports stakeholders as partners. The government is no longer in a top position while the others are subordinate. I visited various sports bodies including visiting the SEA Games golf team at Emeralda. I said that I came and I want to hear. What to do? I want to see. What do you want to convey? I want to hear. What do you expect from the government? That way, we can work together, as equal partners. Nevertheless, each must still be aware of his position. If that happens, I am optimistic that our sport can progress because everyone is listened to. Everyone is spoken for, not just what we want. We must lower each other's egos.

Is there a plan to embrace all parties so that together they can help advance sports?

I will talk to the Minister of Education and Culture because it involves early education. Then, meet with the Minister of Home Affairs because this involves the participation of local governments, and the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises because it involves sponsorships. Then, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy to encourage sports as a tourism industry. I will invite them to discuss it together.

We know that you play golf as a hobby. What are the benefits that you get from this sport? 

Golf is a sport that demands sportsmanship because we are against ourselves. In addition to that, we can also judge the character of our playing partner when playing golf. Despite some saying that golf has more entertainment elements, I actually see many sports elements from golf. We can walk up to 6-7 km when playing golf. This sport also requires high concentration. Therefore, every time I play, I always turn off my cellphone so that my concentration is not disturbed. This sport can also be played until we’re 70 years old.

What do you think about our players? 

We used to have Kasiadi (who won the 1989 Indonesian Open). After that, it's gone. Why? The atmosphere and environment here does not support our players to move forward. Our players returning from the US are generally good. But when they’re here they can't develop because the environment here doesn't support them. We once had hope in Rory Hie. However, his performance has dropped. Because of that, I was quite surprised that Rory could rise again [by winning the Asian Tour event] when the public here did not have more expectations for him.

Indonesia currently has two champions in Asia, George Gandranata, winner of the 2016 Asian Development Tour, and Rory Hie who won the Asian Tour last September. How does the government show appreciation for these outstanding athletes in order to inspire young golfers to follow their footsteps in the international world?

Yes, not only golf but for all sports. I recently met a number of sports stakeholders. Some said that there were athletes who had won some gold but then their future was sad. From visiting several sports, I found that there are some athletes who are worried about their future regarding their education. When there are registrations for civil servants, they are equated with applicants from universities. These athletes are definitely unable to compete. I think the government must have a concept to give them a special path, an achievement path. Thus, they will be comfortable. They can focus more on training programs. How will they achieve optimally when they have to think about education they must pursue as well? This makes sport a life choice, which does not provide a guarantee for the future. Thus sport ends up just being part-time for them.


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