Sarawak set to host international tournaments

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg urged the World Badminton Federation and Badminton Federation of Malaysia to continue to support Sarawak’s bid to host many more international badminton tournaments in the near future.

He said Sarawak already have world standard sporting venues and facilities available in Sarawak, especially in Kuching, including the newly built RM3 million Multi-Purpose Arena in Petra Jaya.

The multi-purpose venue was specially built for this event by transforming the Lawn Bowls Arena into 20 badminton courts and this multi-purpose venue would be ideal to host multi sports events in the future.

“With world standard sporting venues and facilities available in Sarawak, especially in Kuching, it is our sincere hope that the World Badminton Federation and Badminton Federation of Malaysia will continue to support Sarawak’s bid to host more international badminton championships in the near future,” said the chief minister, in his short speech at the welcoming dinner for officials and participants of the 26th World’s Masters Badminton Championship here Friday night.

When given the opportunity, he said Sarawak will prove its capability in organising even international standard events.

For this 26th Edition of the World Masters Badminton Championships, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government is most grateful to the World Chinese Badminton Federation for their tremendous commitment to hold this auspicious event in Kuching.

“It is indeed an honour for Sarawak to be given the opportunity to host this 26th World Masters Badminton Championships which has attracted almost 2000 participants from 20 countries,” said the chief minister.

Saying that hosting an international sporting event requires months of preparation and thorough planning, Abang Johari said it is the milestone for Kuching to be given the recognition to host this 26th edition of the World Masters Badminton Championships 2019.

“I know it wasn’t an easy task but the organising committee has worked very hard and made it a successful event.

He added that the hosting of the championship here would help to boost further the interest and the development of badminton sports in Sarawak amongst young players.

The tournament, he said is also an occasion for our local badminton enthusiasts from all over Sarawak to have the opportunity to witness former world class players like Taufik Hidayat, Tan Boon Keong, Koo Kean Keat, Bobby Ertanto once again in action in Kuching.

Thus, he expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, all the related government agencies, NGOs, the organising and working committee members, the officials, players, sponsors, volunteers and supporters and all those who have been involved in one way or another to ensure the success and smooth running of this championships.

“Without everyone’s contributions, sacrifice and assistance this tournament would not have been possible,” added the chief minister.

Abang Johari (second left) presents a badminton racket to a 89-year-old player from Taiwan, Liao Kuo Feng (third left). Also seen are Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (left), Assistant Minister if Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan (right) and president of World Chinese Badminton Federation Jun-Yan Wu (second right).