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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Nov 1: The Borneo Games is expected to make a comeback next year after the last one was held in 2009.
Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who is the minister for Youth and Sports (MYSS) and Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC) said Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) will work closely with both ministries to ensure athletes from international scene are ready to congregate and to compete in the Games.
“We’ll try to look into how to rotate (the Games) between Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia which are the regions within Borneo.
“We are having discussion with Sabah whereby if we manage to have Borneo Games organised next year or the following year, we (Sabah and Sarawak) might share some of the sports first due to lack of facilities and so on.
“If we can’t share it, we might limit the number of sports,” he told reporters at a press conference after launching the Sport Sarawak logo held at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Kuching tonight.
The first Borneo Games was hosted by Brunei in 1954. After that, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei then took turns to host the Games before it was last held in Brunei in 2009.
Borneo Games will not only involve countries and States on Borneo Island but also some invited teams from Peninsula Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
The Games serves as a good platform for athletes who have completed Malaysia Games (Sukma) to further develop their potential to compete at regional and world levels.
This, Karim said, will also become another reason for people to visit Sarawak and making sports tourism another good revenue earner for our State.
At the event, Abdul Karim also witnessed the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between SSC and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to bring sports in Sarawak to greater heights.
The MoU will facilitate educational pathway for Sarawak Development Programme athletes to further their studies at tertiary level.
In addition, the collaboration will increase the number of sports development centres involving institutions of higher learning in Sarawak including Unimas as a sports research and innovation centre.
SSC was represented by its chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee while Unimas was represented by its vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi.
On the newly-launched Sport Sarawak logo, it comprises three different colours — black, red and yellow — where each of them represents the colours of Sarawak’s flag.
The iconic hornbill is also an image of a sport person in action and the font, ‘Sport Sarawak’ is dynamic, and mirroring the movement of sports.
According to Karim, the logo is in line with the vision of SSC’s 2030 masterplan which is to produce eight Olympians to represent Malaysia on an international level.
Also present were Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan and the ministry’s acting permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi. — DayakDaily.