Sarawak to open more Beginner’s Elite Centres to unearth talented athletes, even in rural areas

Abdul Karim delivering his winding-up speech at the DUN sitting today (Nov 30, 2022). Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Facebook livestream.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Nov 30: The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development (MYSED) is looking to expand Sarawak’s sports talent pool by opening more Beginner’s Elite Centres (PEPs).

Its minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the PEPs focus on identifying potential athletes with untapped potential, even in rural areas.

“The centres are not only centralised in the urban areas but also in rural areas such as in Kapit, Baram, Belaga, Betong, Daro, Lubuk Antu and Gedong, whereby the talented athletes can be discovered,” he said.

To date, among the 276 sports development centres throughout Sarawak, there are 201 PEPs with 4,368 athletes and guided by 220 coaches.

In these centres, the athletes are taught and coached with basic skills before they are evaluated by their coaches based on whether they have mastered the necessary skills to be promoted to the Excellent Elite Centres (PECs).

“In PECs, the athletes are being developed to acquire skills in technical and tactical aspects of the game, to compete at higher level tournaments. At this moment, we have 75 PECs with 1,664 athletes and 119 coaches.

“They are the ones who will be representing Sarawak in coming Sukan Malaysia or Sukma and other national and international tournaments,” said Abdul Karim in his ministry’s winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

The PEPs and PECs are among the initiatives of the State’s Sports Development Programme (SDP) to produce as many as possible talented backup athletes who can succeed current senior athletes in major tournaments in the future. — DayakDaily