SUNGAI ASAP, Feb 2: Youth in Sungai Asap want better sports facilities in order to produce more quality athletes and also to encourage healthy lifestyles among the youths.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Murum youth chief, Hemang Yu Abit urged the government, particularly the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to quickly allocate a budget to construct an indoor stadium in Sungai Asap.
“The youth need to be encouraged to take up more sports activities but how can we do so when we are lacking in facilities.
“In addition, this will help the authorities to curb the social issues among the youths. They usually do not have any other activities to do except for hanging out at coffee shops browsing (the Internet through) their phones,” he said in a press statement.
He opined the recent rise of crime and drug related cases involving youths in Sungai Asap was indirectly related to the lack of sport facilities in the area for youths to utilise their time meaningfully.
“We hope our government will seriously look into this problem and provide our people with the necessary facilities to do away with these detrimental activities,” he added.
“This (negative factors) will also cause a talent drain. However, if we have a good indoor stadium, the youths would participate in sports and we would be able to produce more good athletes here.”
PRS Murum youth secretary Bit Surang agreed that there should be more sports facilities built in Sungai Asap, and pointed out that Sungai Asap had produced many good athletes for the state and nation.
“For example, our national sprinter Jonathan Nyipa is from Uma Badeng, Sungai Asap,” he said.
Aside from the importance of emphasising that the youth should practise a healthy lifestyle, Bit said everyone should find time to exercise and be actively involved in sports and recreational activities, either by participating in associations or on their own.
“We hope that by making sports facilities available like an indoor stadium in Sungai Asap, we would be able to instil a culture where sports is an important part of the people’s daily life. This will create a sporting culture, to encourage an active lifestyle among the people, especially the younger generation. It will also help in promoting unity and harmony among the different races here,” Bit added.
He pointed out that the existing stadium is in poor condition and that the government should properly maintain it.
“The track, football field and facilities like grandstand, toilets, and changing room need to be upgraded. There is also no caretaker for the stadium. The football field is water logged, very muddy and the fencing needs repairs. We also request for lighting for the stadium so that we can use it at night,” he said.
“I believe the intention of the government to see the students and youths in general be active, healthy and free from negative social elements.”
Meanwhile, Hemang said by having an indoor stadium here, Sungai Asap can progressively establish itself as a good training destination for athletes from the rural community.
“Youths will have a proper avenue to fill up their leisure time, keeping them safe from the influence of bad hats. Involvement in sports or healthy activities will make youths more disciplined and improve their self-esteem,” he added.
He further opined that the availability of more such facilities will prevent youths from cooping themselves indoors and getting addicted to online entertainment. — DayakDaily