By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Nov 24: The Sarawak government has launched a website to promote World Para Swimming Championship 2019, which will be held here from July 29-Aug 4.
The website, which connects to various social media platform, will play an integral role to promote the sporting meet and boost sports tourism in the state, said Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
He said over 800 athletes from 80 countries, accompanied by some 400 officials, are expected to participate in the championship that also serves as the last qualifying round for para swimmers to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“Athletes, officials, supporters, as well as their friends and families who come here for the championship will become ambassadors for Sarawak tourism.
“Their posts on social media, including pictures and videos of the event, as well as their activities during their stay here will help to promote the state,” Abdul Karim said at the website launch ceremony here today.
Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Malaysia Paralympic Council deputy president Ng Keng Chuan and Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee were among those present.
Abdul Karim said while the website served to develop and deliver information to participants and interested parties about the event, its link to various social media websites would make it easy for everybody to connect with friends, families, acquaintances and the global community.
On a whole, the website would help to stimulate and promote tourism, he continued.
The minister said countries such as Japan, United States, Australia, South Korea and Great Britain had indicated their interest to come over for a short training stint under their conditioning programme.
The state expects to welcome athletes, coaches and delegates from several countries as early as April, he added.
“In Visit Sarawak Year 2019, we hope to see the arrival of more (international and local) tourists. Collaborations with various airlines to have more direct routes to Kuching is being worked out,” he revealed.
Apart from the World Para Swimming Championship 2019, the state will play host to a few international events next year, including the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championship in April, Fifth CMS Borneo Open Squash in June and Sarawak International Open Tenpin Bowling Championship in September. Other events include World Masters Badminton Championship in November and 21st Masters Athletics Championship in December.
“This form of sports tourism not only benefits our local hospitality industry but also exposes Kuching, in particular, and Malaysia, in general, to potential tourists worldwide,” he continued.
Those interested to check out the new website can visit www.wpsckuching2019.com. — DayakDaily