Association wants to develop OKU sports

KUCHING: Persatuan Sukan Dan Rekreasi Orang Kurang Upaya Negeri (Pesron) aims to develop OKU sports in Sarawak, said its president Matthew Chin Hiong Choi.

He said this during a press conference after Pesron’s courtesy call on Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah at the Baitulmakmur building here today.

“We have been a part of the programme organised by the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development to develop OKU sports in Sarawak two years ago. We have also reached out to young OKU athletes in Sri Aman and Mukah via TID (Talent Identification) and Classification of OKU programme,” he added.

Chin also revealed that all these years, they have depended on established athletes and seniors and it is high time that they train younger athletes to follow suit and continue to make Sarawak proud.

“With the ministry’s financial backing, we have been able to send our athletes to the national circuit for further exposure.

“Our athletes now are able to measure their performances with athletes from other states and from this we can determine whether we are up to the standard,” he said.

Chin pointed out that if the athletes managed to perform, they will have a chance to represent Malaysia at Asean Para Games 2020 to be held in the Philippines.

Fatimah (front right) poses for a photograph with members of Pesron delegation led by its president Matthew Chin (left front) during a courtesy call at Baitul Makmur Building in Petra Jaya, Kuching. Photo: MOHD ALIF NONI

Fatimah, who is also Pesron patron echoed Chin’s view by saying “currently there is an age limit that is imposed in Para Sukma in the last championship.”

“If we want to continue our record, we have to groom younger talents to replace senior athletes who are not able to qualify anymore due to their age,” she added.

“With TID, we have managed to discover talents from all over Sarawak that would not have been discovered had it not been for the programme. This is one of the innovations that we have made,” she said.

Pesron is currently planning to organise programmes to commemorate its 10th anniversary.

A gala dinner to celebrate retiring members, exhibition on their achievements and publishing features on their activities in the media will also be held.