Sarawak aims to be Sukma champs next year

Dr Ong (left) briefing Abdul Karim (second left) on the SOP of sports and recreational facilities at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre here today.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, June 15: Sarawak aims to be the champion at the upcoming Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) Games which will be held in Johor from March 6 to 14 next year (2021).

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state has begun preparations for state athletics to resume training despite the prohibition on certain sports and recreational activities to be carried out during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

“When we are focused and the team is motivated, I strongly feel that we would be able to send a very good team (for Sukma).

“And this time, we will not go for anything less than (Sarawak) be champions.

“I will not want to see anything less than to bring glory back to Sarawak, “he said during a press conference following a meeting with Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) and those involved for preparing Sarawakian athletics for Sukma next year at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre here today.

As the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Sarawak has been under control, Abdul Karim believed state athletics should be gearing up and resume their training after a three- month break.

He added training for state athletics will be in full swing from now onwards in preparation for Sukma next year.

Abdul Karim believed early preparations for the state athletics will give them a competitive edge over the athletics from other states.

In the meantime, Abdul Karim who is Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister explained that despite the prohibition of certain sports activities by the federal government during RMCO, state athletics like swimmers are allowed to conduct their training using the swimming pool by following the relevant standard operating procedure (SOP).

Nonetheless, he noted the swimming pool is still closed to the public at this juncture.

Abdul Karim asserted that sports and recreational activities which are for training purposes are allowed as long as it does not involve competition and large crowds.

Abdul Karim added that he has also instructed SSC to identify and bring back potential Sarawakian athletics who are studying overseas, in sports schools in Peninular Malaysia and Sabah to Sarawak in order to compete in Sukma next year.

“If they are better than the ones that we are training (in Sarawak), we must bring them back.

“We must go to the next Sukma with a force of very high powered teams. We are there to become champions,” he added.

In the meantime, Abdul Karim revealed that the state government has agreed to open sports and recreational complex for the public commencing from June 17 with SOP.

Among those present at the press conference were Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Youth and Sports Ministry permanent secretary Frederick Tan and SSC chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee. —DayakDaily