Digital transformation, smart systems to boost state’s sports prowess

Snowdan (third left) receives a memento from Young following the visit to Seoul National University of Technology and Science, as members of the state delegation and others look on.

KUCHING, Feb 14: The state is revamping its sports industry by accelerating digital transformation in talent development and management of facilities using high-tech smart systems.

Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan said Sarawak is looking to become the first state in Malaysia to digitally transform its sporting fraternity as it looks to cement its position as a sports powerhouse in the country.

He believed the vision can be achieved in the near future, where the state is also going to set up a high performance sports centre.

“We are very enthusiastic about this and Sarawak has all the right attributes to achieve its vision of becoming a sports powerhouse in the country, where all athletes can have better access to world class sporting facilities locally.

“Sarawak wants to become the pioneer in terms of setting the standards in sports and games, as well as in facility management, athletes, fans’ experience and the security aspect starting with having a standardised platform that integrates equipment data, data analysis and technologies using friendly digital interfaces,” Snowdan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Balai Ringin assemblyman recently led a delegation to South Korea with the aim of exploring opportunities to work closely with the country’s leading ICT and infrastructure companies towards developing a smart stadium and high-tech management system.

He said there are many smart stadiums already developed throughout the world such as the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands, Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice (France), Sports City Stadium in Doha (Qatar), Stadion Estadio Chivas (Mexico), Siena Stadium in Tuscany (Italy), Forest Green Stadium in England, Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, and one in Kansas City, Missouri, (USA).

During their visit to South Korea, the group attended a meeting and discussion with KT Global Business Group at its headquarters in the Gwang Hwamun Building in Seoul.

The delegation also visited the official venue of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where 2,952 athletes from 92 countries are currently competing in 102 events from 15 sports with newcomers like Malaysia, Singapore, Ecuador, Kosovo and Nigeria.

Deputy state secretary Datuk Dr Sabariah Putit and Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee were also part of the delegation.

Ong said the visit to South Korea had presented good insights into current hi-tech technologies and sports science applications, which utilised the usage of digital technology and virtual reality that may be jointly developed in Sarawak.

Both Ong and Snowdan also met with experts from the Korea Institute of Sports Science and Prof Young Ho Kim, who heads the Sports Science Department at Seoul National University of Technology and Science located at Nowon-gu.

Among matters that were discussed included initiatives for a joint collaboration on development of sports science application in athletes’ performance and collaboration with the Sarawak government on the setting up of the high performance centre.

“There are possibilities for us to work closely with our relevant counterparts in South Korea for mutual benefits and most importantly, we must be ready to embrace the digital transformation of sports and games, which is the way forward in our vision to become a sports powerhouse,” Ong said. — DayakDaily