SERIAN: The return of the annual Serian Rafting Challenge was well-received with 564 participating in the event, marking a new record for the challenge throughout its ten-year history.
Organised by Serian District Council (SDC), the event kicked-off as early as 8am where 141 bamboo rafts departed from Kampung Tema Mawang, Tebedu to Kampung Tebakang Dayak here.
The 25-kilometre rafting challenge consists of five categories; men open, ladies open, youth open, mixed gender (government department/agencies) and mixed gender (hotel/tourism agency).
Apart from the rafting competition, there were also stage shows, karaoke competition and sales.
Tebedu assemblyman Dr Simon Sinang Bada lauded the programme and said it could boost the local economy as well as encourage social activities.
“In this event, we also encourage the youth to participate in the competition so that they can foster team spirit among themselves.
“In addition, participants were able to expand their relationship network especially in social, work and business relationships.
“The two-day programme will also provide the local people an opportunity to sell their products,” he said when officiating at the Serian Rafting Challenge today.
Earlier, Simon and other dignitaries released a total of 5,000 tengadak fish (tinfoil barb) into the river.
The assemblyman said with the event not being held for some time due to COVID-19, many were excited for its return – with the number of participants increasing to record levels.
This, Simon said, could help to develop the ecotourism in the district while promoting Tebedu as one of the interesting areas of the state to visit.
Meanwhile, he said his office and the SDC were planning to improve the river bank of the village to benefit the annual event in the future.
For this rafting challenge, the champion for each category will bring home RM1,500 cash and a trophy followed by a runner-up with a cash prize of RM1,200 and a trophy.
Third place will receive a prize of RM900 cash with a trophy while a consolation prize of RM250 will be given to participants in fourth place to tenth place.