Lack of sporting facilities, sports future in a quandary

LABUAN: More than 50 athletes from Labuan yesterday expressed their frustration over what they described as a lackadaisical attitude of sports authorities of local and at the federal level.

They claimed that unlike the lawn bawl athletes who have the Lawn Bawl International Arena, the karate, field and track, silat and swimming athletes had to undergo training in scattered rented premises.

The score of the athletes was led by Labuan Aquatic Association chairman Chia Sia Theng who disclosed that Labuan swimmers now had to undergo training at daily-paid private owned pools, including at the Labuan Golf Club and Labuan International School.

“Ever since the swimming pool at the Labuan Sports Complex (LSC) was closed since 2014, the development of the sport has been slowing down and this has impeded the local talents to bloom,” he said.

Chia said Labuan swimmers had bagged a total of 276 medals in 16 competitions and tournaments at both national and international levels between 2011 and 2015.

“Our most impressive feat would be during the 5th Labuan Closed Age Group Swimming Competition held in Miri in June 2012 where we won 66 gold, 57 silver and 21 bronze medals,” he said.

 Chia said he believed the swimming pool at the LSC could still be used with a major refurbishment.

“But, if the government is willing to provide a piece of land, the association is ready to develop it into a swimming pool for training purposes for the local athletes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Labuan Association for Women’s Affairs (HAWA) chairman Fauziah Datuk Mohd Din said she had visited the running track at the sports complex after being reported by Bernama and admitted that it was already 90 per cent damaged, with cracked polymeric rubber surface, making it unsafe for use.

“Labuan is one of the federal territories alongside Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has a big plan for Labuan when it was elevated into a federal territory in 1984. – Bernama