Gerald urges for weightlifting training centre similar to Melaka to be set up in Sarawak

Rentap (fourth left) and others applaud as student athlete Mohd Akmal Manja demonstrates lifting a load mass of 40kg.

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By Brad Rantayy

MIRI, Aug 27: A weightlifting training centre similar to the facility in Melaka should be set up in Sarawak to unearth and groom new talents to strengthen the State’s existing squad in preparation for the Malaysia Sukma Games and other competitions in the future.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu, in raising this, said that currently, there is only one weightlifting academy in Malaysia which is based in Melaka.

“In Sarawak, we don’t have such a facility to groom our young lifters despite having potential athletes in weightlifting. We are hoping the Federal Sport Ministry would consider setting up a (weightlifting) academy here (in Sarawak),” he said.

“With the establishment of such training centre in the future, it would be a boost to our young lifters to further develop and enhance their potential,” he told reporters after officiating the opening of SMK St Joseph Miri’s weightlifting gym centre today.

With Sarawak’s weightlifting athletes showing improvement and performing well in the recent Commonwealth Games, Gerald pointed out the need to provide a better facility for them to train.

Furthermore, he also said that Sarawak also needs more coaches and female lifters.

“Weightlifting is becoming more popular with teenage girls and I believe we have many potential young lifters among young girls,” he added.

Commenting on the Sukma Games taking place from Sept 16 to 24 in Kuala Lumpur, Gerald said the Ministry is targeting to send eight lifters to compete in the upcoming games.

At the event, he also approved a grant totalling RM100,000 with RM70,000 for SMK St Joseph Miri’s weightlifting development, RM20,000 for the Parent-Teacher Association and RM10,000 for the school’s annual activities.

Also present were the school’s principal Peter Use Lenjau and its PTA’s chairman Mathew Silek. — DayakDaily