KUCHING, Dec 14: Sports event organisers are urged to make full use of the state’s existing sports facilities so that they would not go to waste after the state government had spent so much in setting them up.
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state government had spent some RM300 million to improve the state’s sporting facilities including renovating the State Stadium for the Sukma 2016 event held here last year, and it would be a shame if all those facilities were not utilised fully afterwards.
“If we have world class sporting facilities but are not able to organise any sporting activities, it would all go to waste as ‘white elephants’.
“That is why we need all these facilities to be fully utilised all the time by organising regional, national or even international sporting events,” he said during the official launching of the Sukan Sarawak (Suksa) 2017 games at the State Indoor Stadium in Petra Jaya here today.
Abdul Karim said on top of the improvements made to the facilities, the state government has also committed some RM10.9 million annually to his ministry just to organise any sporting activities in the state, showing its commitment to the development of sports in the state.
He said through this, Sarawak would also be able to promote sports among the youngsters in the state as well as its sports and tourism industry especially when organising international sporting events.
Abdul Karim explained that this year alone, Sarawak has hosted 11 international sporting events; among them were the Malaysia Open Badminton Championship, FINA World Diving Grand Prix, and ITF Junior Tennis Championship to name a few.
He said because of that, Sarawak is slowly making a name for itself in the international sporting scene, proven by his trip to Mexico recently to represent the state to accept the offer to host the World Para Swimming Championship 2019.
This event, he explained, would see Sarawak host to contingents from more than 80 countries with participation of about 1,000 paralympic athletes.
“Despite so, all planning must be done correctly because we will host these international athletes, and at the same time we can also promote sports tourism in Sarawak,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Sports Corporation CEO Dr Ong Kong Swee said after last being staged 27 years ago, Suksa has made a very successful comeback with participation from 882 athletes from all over the state.
The biennial sporting event consists of four contingents — North, Central, East and South — and 18 sporting events where four are for the disabled.
“This event is the best platform for us to not only recognise but also to discover new and young talents from all over the state,” Dr Ong said.
He hoped that the newly discovered talents would be groomed to be much more superior in time for the Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) games next year to be held in Perak. — DayakDaily