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KUCHING, Nov 18: The inaugural Kenyalang Sepak Takraw League (KSL) 2021 will identify elite players for Sarawak to compete at the national level and eventually in the international arena.
As Sarawak is aiming to become Malaysia’s sports powerhouse and sports destination one day, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said such programmes would be considered elite sports development because it involves players who have achieved a high level of skill to participate in the Malaysian Games (SUKMA).
“This KSL will definitely identify elite players from Sarawak, which we will eventually produce for the international level and turn our State into a sports powerhouse. This is the new direction which we are looking at.
“I hope that all athletes, officers and judges will also use KSL to advance themselves and improve their respective skills,” Abdul Karim said in video recorded speech at the launch of KSL 2021 today.
The KSL 2021 tournament which kicked off last month was organised by Sarawak Sepak Takraw Association (PSS) and Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC).
Aiming to inculcate the traditional game as a platform to uncover potential players at grass root level, PSS deputy president Datuk Ismail Abang Saufi said apart from grooming players into State athletes, the tournament aims to bring sepak takraw in Sarawak a higher level.
“Hopefully, KSL will be a platform to produce champions whom we can feature to represent Sarawak in several high-performance tournaments that are being planned, involving not only state teams throughout the country but also teams from Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore,” Ismail said.
Meanwhile, SSC chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee said their previous collaboration was more on grassroots development programmes where efforts to find new talents were directly involved in sepak takraw sports.
“Sarawak sports development through the Beginner Program (PP) and Excellent Program (PC) involves the age group as early as five to 19 years, while the Elite Program (PE) provides athletes under 21-years-old to take part in SUKMA.
“However, a development programme after PE is still in planning stages, for athletes after SUKMA or aged 21 and above to continue competing,” Ong said. — DayakDaily