THE athletes gather at the opening ceremony of the Malaysia Asasi Games at Unimas Badminton Hall here on Thursday night. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KOTA SAMARAHAN: More than 700 athletes from 13 public universities gathered at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here for the 3rd Malaysia Asasi Games or Sukan Asasi Malaysia (SAM).

The three-day event previously known as Inter Asasi Games (IAG) is being held at Unimas Sports Complex from Jan 17 to 19 with a total of 384 medals up for grabs.

It is organised by Unimas PreUniversity Studies Centre (PPPU) and Unimas Sports Centre in collaboration with Unimas Global, several units of various departments and several student’s organisations of Unimas.

The athletes are pre-university students from Pusat Asasi Universiti Malaya, Program Asasipintar UKM, Pusat Asasi Sains Pertanian ULM, Pusat Asasi UiAM, Pusat Asasi Pengurusan UUM, Pusat Persediaan Sains and Teknologi UMS, Pusat Tahmidi USIM, Pusat Persediaan UiTM Kampus Dengkik, Pusat Asasi STEM UMT, Pusat Asasi Sains dan Perubatan UniSZA, Pusat Asasi Pertahanan UPNM and Majlis Sukan Matrikulasi Malaysia.

Unimas deputy vice chancellor (academic and international) Professor Dr Ahmad Hata Rasit officiated at the opening ceremony at Unimas Badminton Hall here on Thursday night.

A total of seven sports are being competed during the games, namely athletics, badminton, futsal, netball, sepak takraw, caroom and eSports.

The athletes gather at the opening ceremony of the Malaysia Asasi Games at Unimas Badminton Hall here on Thursday night. Photo: Ramidi Subari

Unimas vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kasim Suaidi in his text of speech read by Professor Dr Ahmad said among the objectives of the games is to enhance friendship networking among students and staff of foundation studies centres of the universities involved.

He said Unimas was honoured to organise the games’ third edition held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the PPPU.

He urged the athletes not to forget the original philosophy of the tournament — that sports is a systematic educational process designed for the physical, cognitive and emotional development of individuals in the higher education framework.

“We must continue to work together to support the spirit of solidarity as members of the nation’s higher education in general and pre-university education in particular.

“We celebrate the 2020 Malaysia Games (Sukma) in the highest and most productive sports and friendship spirit. We put the elements of collective and engagement as the basis of order and a healthy culture of recreation and sports as part of the campus lifestyle,” he added.

Also present were Unimas registrar Azlan Ramli, Unimas PPPU director and SAM 2020 chairman Associate Professor Dr Muna Sabri and Unimas Sports Centre director and joint chairman of SAM 2020 Associate Professor Dr Azhaili Baharun.