Saberkas secretary general Shafee (seated centre) flanked by exco members Haludin Talib (right) and Sports, Recreation and Cultural sub-committee chairman Razi at the press conference yesterday.

KUCHING: Saberkas (Sarawak United National Youths Organisation) has started its statewide Sports Carnival (KASUS) programme with 50 branches of the organisation poised to be taking part.

The carnival will see all the branches taking part in three compulsory events — futsal (boys), netball (girls) and badminton (mixed doubles) — with the winners to take part in a state level championship in 2020.

Saberkas’ Sports, Recreation and Culture sub-committee chaired by Saribas Assemblyman Razie Sitam has obtained the green light from its president and executive committee for all the branches to hold their respective carnivals anytime between April and October.

Saberkas secretary general Shafee (seated centre) flanked by exco members Haludin Talib (right) and Sports, Recreation and Cultural sub-committee chairman Razi at the press conference yesterday.

Saberkas secretary general and Assemblyman for Daro, Shafee Ahmad disclosed this at a press conference at the Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Legislative Assembly Hall) yesterday saying: “We have given freedom to all the
branches in terms of the dates of their respective events and we have also made it clear that the branches can include more sports, apart from the three compulsory events.”

“What we are doing is to engage with as many of our members statewide through the events and allow for healthy competitions in a family atmosphere and as an outreach programme by the leadership to get closer to our members,” said Ahmad.

The largest youth organisation in Sarawak, Saberkas has approximately 160,000 members aged between 18 and 45 years and is led by Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The carnival will move into phase two next year after the completion of all the events at branch level and will see the organisation hosting a state level sports carnival to bring together all the winners for a showdown to decide the state level champions.

“Apart from the fun aspects of the carnival, we hope that the events will also unearth more
sporting talents from the grassroot level.

But what we want to achieve immediately is to bring our big family closer,” added Ahmad at the press conference yesterday.

He explained: “As a youth-based organisation, we also have many other activities such as seminars and workshops to assist the youths with information on possible careers, business opportunities and also provide them with an avenue to display leadership qualities so that through the carnival we (the central leadership) will be evaluating the leadership capabilities of our leaders at branch level.”

The three compulsory events were chosen by the central Saberkas leadership to remove any notion of gender bias and also
the popularity of the sports statewide.

Saberkas is also using the carnival to get new membership, especially for those who like any one of the three sports and wish to participate, he said.

Meawhile, Saberkas was established in Sarawak in 1972 as a union of four of the largest youth organisations in the state then and has since seen fast growth throughout the state.

The 50 branches chosen for the carnival this year are among  the most active branches in the state.