YSD Women & Girls in Sports Forum builds on government-led ASEAN Women in Sports Conference 2023 to elevate women’s athletics

Kuala Lumpur, 6 February 2024 – In a significant stride to complement the government’s ongoing efforts to uplift women in sports, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) today hosted its inaugural Women and Girls in Sports Forum, at the Sime Darby Convention Centre. The Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia (KBS), YB Hannah Yeoh, delivered a keynote speech, catalysing the gathering of over 200 stakeholders, including local sports legends, industry experts, delegates from national sports associations, representatives from government sports agencies and educational institutions, members of non-governmental organisations, sports media professionals, and inspiring young athletes.

Resonating with the theme of ‘Unleashing Potential, Defying Limits’, the landmark event supported by KBS welcomed forum panellists like Datuk Nicol Ann David, Dato’ Low Beng Choo, Datuk Shalin Zulkifli, John Beasley, and Sarina Sundara Rajah among others, setting the stage for actionable outcomes in the pursuit of gender equity in sports.

YB Hannah Yeoh, in her keynote address emphasised the government’s commitment to creating safe and inclusive sports environments, commending YSD’s contribution to this vision. “Discussions like the ones taking place today will allow us to critically assess the status quo and envision a future where gender parity in sports is the norm through the formulation of a clear action plan for Malaysia’s journey towards this goal. The Ministry is committed to achieving this goal and we would like to recognise YSD as a strategic extension of our own efforts to empower women athletes,” she stated.

The forum was structured into two insightful panel discussions. The first, moderated by Mariana De Reyes, former national squash athlete and CEO of Nicol David Organisation (NDO), explored the challenges and progress made by women in sports. The second panel, moderated by Low Ngai Yuen, Founding President of WOMEN:girls, discussed sustainable pathways for young athletes, aligning with the National Sports Vision 2030.

Chairman of YSD, Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar, highlighted the foundation’s role in shaping the Malaysian sporting scene and in fostering an inclusive sporting environment where every athlete, especially women, could excel. “At YSD, we are committed to not only identifying and nurturing talent but also to dismantling the systemic barriers that inhibit the growth of sportswomen in the country. We aim to create a sustainable sporting culture that celebrates and promotes equity, inspiring the next generation to defy limits and break new ground in sports.”

The forum concluded with recommendations by Prof Dato’ Dr Shamala Subramaniam, Founding President of the Research Empowered Sports Politics, Education, Communication and Technology of Malaysia (RESPECT), to draft a comprehensive report on the forum’s outcomes for submission to KBS. This is a strategic continuation of the resolutions made at the ASEAN Women in Sports Conference 2023, organised by KBS and the Malaysian Sports Council, ensuring that the momentum is maintained and strengthened at the national level.

As the philanthropic arm of Sime Darby Berhad, Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, and Sime Darby Property Berhad, YSD’s investment of over RM207 million under its Sports pillar to support a wide range of athletes and initiatives, underscores the foundation’s pivotal role in Malaysia’s sports development.

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Last Updated:
08 Feb 2024
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