Tue, 07 Nov 2000

Cuba offers coaches to Indonesia

JAKARTA (JP): Cuba has approached the National Sports Council (KONI) about making available coaches and training facilities to help develop Indonesian athletes, KONI official in charge of research and development Imam Suyudi said on Monday.

"Cuba has a population of 12 million and 30,000 sports experts, but they had impressive achievements in the Sydney Olympic Games. Based on this, the authorities have offered us low-cost experts and training facilities," he said.

Cuba finished eighth in the 2000 Games with 11 golds, 10 silvers and five bronzes, while Indonesia finished in 35th position by taking home one gold, three silvers and two bronzes.

Imam said KONI was considering the suggestion, but the council would let individual sports organizations decide if they needed foreign coaches and training facilities to prepare for the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The biennial multisports event will take place in Kuala Lumpur in September.

"We will discuss the possibility with the sports organizations. They know their needs better (than us) and they understand which countries could supply the best coaches for their athletes. After we finish discussing it, we can settle the deal.

"We can't afford to pay a lot of Cuban coaches, so we will make the request according to our financial capability. We can use this scheme for our SEA Games preparations," he said.

Imam said Cuba has gained worldwide recognition in several sports, including volleyball, boxing, track and field, baseball, basketball and martial arts.

Imam said Cuba offered Indonesian athletes the opportunity to train in Cuba at a daily cost of US$40 for training sites and accommodation. The cost does not include coaches' salaries and Indonesian athletes' allowance.

He also said KONI and sports organizations would set up a team of advisers to help screen foreign coaching candidates.

"The advisers will accompany the contingents. They must be select people who can arrange training programs based on various aspects, including physical fitness, skills, mental ability and motivation. The advisers must also be experts in improving physical conditioning using certain techniques that do not violate international rules, for example, by avoiding the use of banned nutritional supplements," he said. (ivy)