By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 24: Sarawak athletes have been urged to keep going with sheer focus, high self-discipline and esprit de corps in order to bring sporting glory back to Sarawak in the next Malaysia Games (Sukma) in two years’ time.
Highlighting this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he was proud of the athletes even though the Sarawak contingent did not achieve its target of emerging champion at Sukma XIX in Perak from Sept 12 to 22 this year.
“I can see that the ‘agi idup agi ngelaban’ (fight to the last breath) is still there among you. This spirit will be the basis for you to pursue those victories (in the near future). I believe you will perform better,” he said at the appreciation ceremony for medalists and the Sarawak Contingent to Sukma XIX Perak 2018 at a leading hotel here today.
He reminded the athletes that focus, self-discipline and esprit de corps were prerequisites to achieve success not only in sports but in other areas in life as well.
“First, it is important that you focus all your energy and mind into your objective. Secondly, you must have very high discipline to accomplish something, otherwise, it will be difficult. If you set yourself to get up at 7am, then you must stick to the time.
“In fact, discipline is related to physical training to prepare ourselves for any kind of competitions and games. Lastly, is esprit de corps. We work together as a team,” he advised.
Abang Johari believed that if an athlete could be disciplined to build a career in sports, they could be successful in any career.
Reassuring his and the state government’s support for all initiatives towards enhancing sports performance and youth development in Sarawak, Abang Johari pointed out that these would be done as the state had some reserves, especially through the new five per cent sales tax on petroleum-based products.
“We have given allocation to improve sports training facilities, including the allocation of a land for the setting up of a high-performance athletes complex as well as to further develop all sports and games that Sarawak must compete in Sukma, such as cycling, volleyball and many more.
“While you have to continue training hard towards (Sukma) 2020 or 2022, our long-term objective is to groom our people to be competitive. So we work together towards better performance. After sports, you can focus on a career and continue to be successful in the future,” he added.
At the ceremony, the state government gave out RM397,000 worth of incentives to the Sarawak Contingent for bringing home 42 gold medals, 36 silver medals and 60 bronze medals from Perak.
Abang Johari’s wife, Datin Patinggi Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, chef-de-mission Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Ong Kong Swee and Kuching North City Hall Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Julai were present. — DayakDaily