Enriching the lives of PPR youths, one sports court at a time

PETALING JAYA:  What’s the point of having facilities that are wasting away and no longer able to serve their full purpose?

Outdoor recreational spaces for the community, especially children and youths, are aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and even to nurture sports talent, hence it would be a shame if such facilities become eyesores instead.   

Seeing the opportunity to make these spaces “great” again and help change the lives of the surrounding communities, Paramount Property Development Sdn Bhd CEO Beh Chun Chong decided to take the lead and partner and Nippon Paint Malaysia to roll out the Sayangi Rumahku campaign in July 2019.

The campaign is in support of the National Community Policy or Dasar Komuniti Negara (DKN) formulated by the Housing and Local Government Ministry, aimed at improving the lives of the B40 group.

Under this campaign, the dilapidated outdoor sports courts at public housing schemes, including the People’s Housing Schemes (PPR) will be given a makeover. The initial PPRs identified for this campaign are PPR Lembah Subang 1 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor; PPR Seri Cempaka and PPR Seri Kedah (both in Kuala Lumpur).

Beh noted that this private sector initiative is expected to benefit close to 16,000 residents living in 4,116 units in these PPRs.

“We hope through the refurbishment of the outdoor sports courts, we could promote a healthier and more active lifestyle among residents, especially the youths.

“Not many PPR homes have outdoor sporting facilities. PPR Seri Cempaka, for example, is one of the few that does. Sadly, the court was in a bad condition and riddled with holes. We were also concerned about the safety of kids playing at the playground nearby, especially when there is a kindergarten located next to the court,” Beh shared, adding that the initial stage of the Sayangi Rumahku campaign will need at least RM200,000.  

The refurbishment works include converting the existing sports courts into bigger multipurpose sports courts with a colourful design that will attract residents to spend time outdoors, be it for sports or for community activities.

To date, the makeover of the sports courts at PPR Lembah Subang 1 and PPR Seri Cempaka have been completed. Not only have they become fully functional and safe, they also sport vibrant designs and colours reflecting the Malaysia’s flag.

During the refurbishment process, PPR residents have joined volunteers from Paramount, Nippon Paint Malaysia and in the painting works on the sports courts. Close to 60 Paramount staff including its senior management took time off to participate in the campaign, wholeheartedly supporting the company’s efforts to improve the lives of the B40 group.

One of the challenges to the refurbishment efforts, however, was having to deal with Malaysia’s weather. For instance, works were slightly delayed due to the inter-monsoon rains in the latter half of 2019. 

Another challenge faced by the partners in this campaign were the varied requests from residents on how they want their sports courts to be. 

“We received a number of requests to design the courts for multiple usage such as futsal, badminton, sepak takraw and netball. While we would like to fit as many court types as possible into one, too many different [court] lines will affect functionality. 

“Likewise, in terms of patterns and colours used, there is a need to balance creativity and functionality,” Beh explained. But these are mere hiccups because nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing residents enjoy their newly refurbished sports courts. 

“We are happy to be able to create functional and aesthetically -pleasing spaces for the community. The courts at PPR Lembah Subang 1 and PPR Seri Cempaka are now much more colourful and can be used for both futsal and badminton,” said Beh.

Meanwhile, the Sayangi Rumahku campaign moves on to PPR Seri Kedah next. Painting works will begin on March 15, 2020 and scheduled to be completed by end-March.

This story first appeared in the pullout on March 6, 2019. You can access back issues here.

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