National Sprint Queen Shereen Samson Vallabouy Receives Comprehensive Assistance Package from KBS
BY: Michelle Liew
The Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) today agreed to give a comprehensive assistance package of approximately RM400,000 to Southeast Asia's 400-meter (m) queen, Shereen Samson Vallabouy to further develop her potential on the world stage.
Youth & Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said the aid package was given so that the 24-year-old SEA Games 400m gold medallist could continue her training program in the United States after graduating from Winona State University in Minnesota this month.
She stated that the assistance package included the cost of accommodation, coaching, meal allowance, additional food, supplements, cyro treatment, sports massage services and tournament exposure.
"This aid package will start from 1 June 2023 to July 2024 which will enable Shereen to undergo training at Lifespeed Athletics Florida under the management of coach Derrick White," she said.
Through the aid package, Hannah hopes that Shereen, who is also the national record holder, will work hard to qualify on merit for the World Championships this August in Budapest, Hungary, win gold at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and qualify on merit for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
At the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia this month, Shereen lived up to her gold medal prediction with a time of 52.53 second(s), about a month after breaking a 30-year-old national record of 51.80s at the 63rd Annual Mt SAC Relays in California.
The women's 400m national record previously belonged to the late Rabia Abdul Salam who clocked 52.56s when she did it in the Philippines in 1993.
In the meantime, Hannah said the help Shereen enjoyed was also a commitment to further strengthen the efforts of women's involvement in sports which is one of the ministry's priorities now.
"I believe the initiative given to Shereen will be an incentive for more potential young athletes to prove their abilities so that they can enjoy the assistance given to her based on merit," said Hannah.