Choice venue for global sport events

KUCHING: The capital city of Sarawak is becoming the choice for international sports events venue.

This year alone not less than 10 international sports events have been and will be held here.

Among the international events hosted by Sarawak were Kuching International Marathon, Sarawak International Open Tenpin Bowling Championship, Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championship, Sarawak Chief Minister’s Borneo Cup International Taekwondo (WTF) Championship,  Kuching Unity Karate Championship, Spartan Race (Sarawak leg), World Para Swimiming Championship, World Masters Badminton Championship in November and 21st Asia Masters Athletic Championship in December.

Youth and Sports assistant minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan said the ministry encourages international sport tournaments to be hosted in the state.

He said his ministry will continue to bid for more international sport events in Sarawak and provide financial support for the events.

“The ministry encourages international events as they
are part of the state’s tourism products which could attract tourists to the state,” said Snowdan at the welcoming dinner for
participants and officials of the Kuching Unity Karate Championships at a local hotel here on Thursday night.

The three-day championship is being held at the Sarawak Indoor Stadium,
Petra Jaya here starting yesterday and attracted over 400
participants from nine countries.

He said the state government supports karate because it is one of the sports to be competed in Sukma in Johor next year.

“Like any other sports, we want the best for Sarawak,” said Snowdan.

On sports development, Snowdan said the state government is interested in building high performance sport centres similar to the sports school in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Karatekas show their prowess on the first day of Kuching Unity Karate Championship at Sarawak Indoor Stadium yesterday. Photo: Nadim Bokhari

“Sarawak needs such centres to realise our mission to become one of the sports powerhouses in Malaysia,” he said.

To realise that, he said the state delegations have visited Australia and New Zealand to see how they run their high performance sport centres.

He said Sarawak is also embarking on digitalising its stadiums to become smart stadiums and is engaging Korean experts for the job.

He added that more sports facilities need to be developed throughout Sarawak.

He noted that Sarawak sports talents are not only found in the city but also in the rural areas like world diver Pandelela Rinong who hails from a village in Bau district.

“There is a need to do talents scouting in the rural areas and train them to become state, national and international champions,” he added.