BALAI RINGIN: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has approved an additional RM5 million to be added to the previously approved RM10 million allocation for the development of Balai Ringin Mini Stadium, bringing the total allocation to RM15 million.
The RM5 million was requested by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan due to the location’s hilly and swampy terrain resulting in higher costs of building a road.
The chief minister said he approved the mini stadium proposed by Snowdan in 2019 as there were many schools in the area but no dedicated place equipped with facilities for student sporting activities.
“That is why, even though the district is small, I approved RM10 million to develop the mini stadium for the children. I approve an additional RM5 million for our children here,” he said when officiating at the earth-breaking ceremony for the stadium here today.
In his speech earlier, Snowdan said the additional allocation would ensure that funds would not have to be diverted from the cost of facilities to the construction of the road. With that, he said the mini stadium would be more complete in terms of facilities.
“With this mini stadium, many sporting or youth activities can be carried out. In the surrounding area, there are nearly 50 schools.
“In Balai Ringin, there are about 20 schools and there are some in Siburan and Sri Aman as well,” he said, noting that the mini stadium was located in the centre of the ‘golden triangle’ of Serian, Simunjan, and Sri Aman.
Aside from youth training, he said the Balai Ringin Mini Stadium would assist in identifying new talents in sports, pointing out that 15 Malaysia Games (Sukma) athletes hailed from Balai Ringin.
He said the construction process of the mini stadium had commenced in January this year and would take approximately 18 months to be completed.
Snowdan, who is also Balai Ringin assemblyman, added the mini stadium stood on an area of 20 acres and thus in the future there could be plans for Phase 2, namely building a youth centre.
Among the proposed facilities for the Balai Ringin Mini Stadium are badminton and takraw hall, futsal court, football field, running track, as well as areas for shot put, high jump, and triple jump.