KUCHING: Power Aquatics Swimming Club (PASC) advisor Voon Yong Hui expressed dissatisfaction over the Amateur Swimming Association of Sarawak (ASAS) recently writing a letter to the organiser of the ASUM/NSC/Milo Junior Splash meet to stop the swimming club from competing at Pusat Akuatik Hang Jebat in Melaka.
The reason stated in the letter given to the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) was that the club was not affiliated to any of the state or divisional affiliates although PASC was registered with the Sarawak Sports Commission, and therefore the club was not allowed to take part in the competition.
Voon said ASAS’ action was not justified because PASC was always a self-managed club whereby it bore the expenses to hire its own coaches and rent swimming pool facilities without any support from ASAS.
Their action not only did not make sense but it had become laughing stock in the West Malaysia, because instead of supporting their fellow Sarawakian swimmers, they would rather stop them from shining, he claimed through a press release.
The recent achievement of the PASC team to emerge as overall champions in the second leg of the ASUM/NSC/ Milo Junior Splash event in Melaka was something to be proud of because it showed that they were on the right track, and that there are actually many talents from the state.
“We spent about RM35,000 for this competition and got zero support from the association. We want to know what is the function of the association? Aren’t they suppose to develop and support the swimmers in Sarawak?
“How do they think it will help Sarawak swimming by stopping the swimmers from taking part in the competition?” Voon asked.
To him, the association belongs to swimmers in the state and not just to a few committee members.
“Their duties are to help and promote swimming in Sarawak. All the decisions they make must always benefit the swimmers. That is the purpose of having an association,” he stressed.
Previously, the club also won third placing in the first leg of the meet in July this year and their efforts were also self-funded.
Voon said according to ASAS requirements, all clubs affiliated to it should pay a joining fee of RM500, annual subscription fee of RM100, and each swimmer of the affiliated club must pay a RM10 monthly member fee.
“We don’t understand why we need to pay the monthly fee to them when we don’t get any support from them. We have to pay all our expenses in training and competition by ourselves. By right they should thank us for doing all their work,” said Voon.
He therefore asked ASAS president Datuk Wee Hong Seng to state what was the association’s plan besides collecting fees and stopping swimmers from competing.
“How can the association help Sarawak swimming become a sports powerhouse in the country? Do they have any plans to help the potential swimmers reach higher levels?” Voon asked.
He also highlighted that in the recent SUKSA time trials in Kuching, a condition was imposed on the swimmers whereby those who failed to meet the target time set would have to pay a penalty of RM100 per event.
“In the end, only 32 swimmers registered for the time trial. This was funny because even the officials on duty numbered more than the participants.
“We are already lacking competitions in the state so why not let more children have a chance to try? After all, it is held in Kuching. Many young and talented swimmers did not dare to try because of the penalty fee imposed,” he said.
He believed it defeated the purpose of having SUKSA. The penalty caused swimmers and parents to be very disappointed.
Voon added: “These swimmers could be the pride of the future, to make our state and country proud. I believe that there are many other talented swimmers out there waiting for the opportunity to shine. With the full support and right programmes given by the state government and relevant authorities, we can make the state achieve its vision to become one of the sports powerhouses in the country.”