By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 28: Some 154 athletes and 41 elite coaches in Sarawak are getting their Covid-19 vaccinations at the Stadium Perpaduan vaccination centre (PPV), Petra Jaya here today.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the recipients are among 808 athletes from 31 different sports and games, their coaches and State contingent officials who are scheduled to be going to next year’s Malaysian Games (Sukma) in Johor.
“The ones we have today are from Kuching and Samarahan or the Southern Zone while those from the Northern and Central Zones will also be receiving them very soon at the designated PPVs in their respective divisions,” he said at a press conference when witnessing the immunisation programme of State athletes at the Stadium Perpaduan PPV here today.
He explained that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak (MYSS) through Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) had written to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) two weeks ago, requesting for the State athletes and coaches to be given priority for Covid-19 vaccination.
“In the process of applying for their vaccinations, I must make it clear to the public that the SSC had complied with the necessary official procedures and compliances. Thus, there is no issue of our State athletes and their officials of ‘jumping queue’ or getting preferred treatment in getting their vaccinations.
“The Sarawak government through MYSS and SSC is determined and serious in facilitating the training and preparations of our State athletes who will be spearheading our challenges in the national and international sports arena.
“They deserve the opportunity to get the proper training and preparations because their time, efforts and energy had been invested to bring honour and glory for Sarawak and Malaysia,” he added.
Abdul Karim also mentioned that Sarawak is presently the first in the country to undertake the initiative to provide vaccinations for its athletes and their elite coaches.
“I must reiterate that our athletes are still required to comply with the existing standard operating procedures (SOP) while undergoing their training and preparations,” he emphasised.
Also present were Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, the ministry’s permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi, SSC chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee, Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association president Dato Patrick Liew and person-in-charge of Stadium Perpaduan PPV, medical officer Dr Tangalakshmi Sanmugalingam. — DayakDaily