Eight Olympians by 2030 through Senior Elite Development Programme, including Pandelela, Bonnie, and Jong

Jong Yee Khie won a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics' powerlifting Men's Under 107kg category with a 237kg effort. File Photo

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, May 25: The Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development (MYSED) intends to produce five more Olympiads through the Senior Elite Development Programme, bringing Sarawak’s total to eight Olympians by 2030, including Datuk Pandelela Rinong in diving and Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and Jong Yee Khie in para powerlifting.

According to MYSED Minister Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the Senior Elite Development Programme is in the works for athletes aged 21 and up who are still eligible to compete and perform at a higher level of competition.

“This programme is created to give support and guidance in the aspect of high performance training, coaching by qualified coaches, allowances, and other requirements needed for elite athletes to achieve success in high level competitions beyond Sukma.

“Preparation is ongoing to prepare Sarawak’s elite athletes for future SEA Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Olympic Games, and more,” he said today in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here.

Additionally, he mentioned that the Sarawak Sports Development Programme (ProPS) was designed based on the Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) Model with the hope that Sarawak can deliver athletes that can sustain in the long term instead of short-term achievement.

“Sarawak sports’ vision is to become a National Sports Powerhouse which requires detailed planning to be executed with sustainable results.

“ProPS has faced many challenges in the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and under the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

“Despite all that, we are still able to conduct the ProPS through different approaches, for example using online and isolation methodology,” he explained.

Abdul Karim, who is also Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Minister, added that entering the endemic phase, ProPS shall embark into a more aggressive and systematic approach.

“As of now, there are 369 Sarawak Sports Development Centres throughout Sarawak which are 299 Pusat Permulaan (PEP) with 3,997 athletes and 299 coaches, and 70 Pusat Cemerlang (PEC) with 1,521 athletes and 70 coaches.

“The numbers will steadily increase with the upcoming of more Sports Development Centres throughout Sarawak, especially in the districts and divisions that have yet to have a Sports Development Centre.

“Under the Program Elit Remaja (PER) managed under Majlis Sukan Negeri Sarawak (MSNS), they are in the final stages of preparing for Sukma,” he noted. — DayakDaily