This Is Why Athletes Are Receiving Plants For Winning At #KL2017 SEA Games

A symbolic gesture.

Cover image via Muhd Zaaba Zakeria/BH

Have you noticed that there's something different at the KL2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this year?

Whether the athlete is a bronze, silver, or gold medallist, winners are usually presented with a coveted medal to commemorate their achievement in addition to receiving a bouquet and a plush mascot during the prize-giving ceremony.

However, some may have noticed that Malaysia, the host country for the 29th edition of the SEA Games, decided to break away from tradition to give winners a basket with a sapling instead of a bouquet of flowers.

This is because the Malaysian Organising Committee (MASOC) has vowed to plant 5,249 trees in conjunction with the biennial sporting event

Image via Sports247

This programme named 'One Medal, One Tree' will see all athletes that successfully attain a gold, silver, or bronze medal receive a sapling that would be planted along Peninsula Malaysia's Central Forest Spine.

According to the Media Executive Officer of MASOC, Fahmi Omar, the idea to give out saplings and plant trees was born out of the concern to off-set part of the carbon emissions caused by the SEA Games and to increase public awareness on the importance of forest rehabilitation for biodiversity conservation.

A total of 5,249 trees is expected to be planted throughout this programme - the same amount of medals offered at the 29th SEA Games and the 9th Asean Para Games.

Each medallist at #KL2017 will receive any of these three types of plants

The three types of saplings are syzygium polyanthum (Salam), garcinia hombroniana (Bruas) and syzygium malaccense (Jambu.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin revealed that Malaysian gold medalists would have the honour to have trees named after them

Image via Kosmo

"This would surely contribute to public awareness on the importance of restoration of forests and preservation of biodiversity, which are priceless national treasures," he was quoted as saying by The Star Online.

Malaysians athletes are expected to take part in a tree planting activity after the SEA Games during the third phase of the programme.

In the final phase of the programme, the rest of the saplings will be planted at a few locations in Perak, Kelantan, and Terengganu, which is part of the Central Forest Spine between October and March next year.

Great initiative, MASOC!

Image via Giphy

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