PASC swimmers pose during the Brunei Age Group swimming championship in April last year. Photo: DayakDaily

SERIAN: Serian Swimming Association (Serians) is voicing out full support to all Sarawak swimmers who are being denied by Asas (Amateur Swimming Association of Sarawak) to take part in the Sarawak Aged Group (SAG) 2019 swimming championship.

“We sympathise with the predicament of Power Aquatics Swimming Club (PASC) as Serians, too, has been denied the right to participate in Sarawak Age Group Championship since 2016.

“We share the anger and frustration of the swimmers and parents in their appeal to allow all Sarawak swimmers to join SAG 2019,” a Serians spokesperson said in a statement yesterday.

Although registered as an association under the Malaysia Sport Commissioner Office of Ministry of Youth and Sport Malaysia, Serians was denied a place in Asas-sanctioned Sarawak Aged Group swimming championship since 2016 because its application to affiliate to Asas was rejected, he

lamented.

“During these times, we have to team up with other affiliated associations and clubs to enable our swimmers to join this very important swimming event so that our swimmers will not miss the opportunity to represent Sarawak. This year we also have teamed up with PASC, but sadly our swimmers were denied participation in SAG 2019 yet again,” he added.

He noted that Asas role is to promote the sport of swimming in the state and said Asas as a facilitator of swimming holds the fate of Sarawak swimmers in their hands.

“Our boys and girls have been training hard everyday so that they can deliver their best for their clubs and ultimately Sarawak,” he said.

” Our boys and girls have been training hard  everyday so that they can deliver their best for their clubs and ultimately Sarawak. “

He said the registration of sport associations and clubs is under the purview of the Malaysia Sport Commissioner Office and if the entities meet all the criteria set by the Ministry and given approval, the approved entities such as Serians and PASC are governed by the relevant Acts in Malaysia.

“We have the right to promote the sport as we deemed fit and proper for the advancement of the sport and participating in all competitions relevant to the objectives of promoting the sport,” he said.

Over the last few years, new clubs and associations have been formed in various parts of Sarawak to promote swimming which have proved to be a game changer.

“Through our efforts, we have trained many outstanding junior swimmers,” he recalled.

Although he felt that Serians should be lauded for spending time and financial resources of parents and well wishers to promote swimming, their efforts were simply undermined by Asas actions to prevent their swimmers from joining competitions.

He viewed that such actions do not speak well for governing members of Asas which comprise well known individuals in society as well as respected members in politics and swimming fraternity in the state.

Asas should hold themselves in high esteem to promote the betterment of sports so that Sarawak can once again become a swimming powerhouse as in the good old days, he said.“We urge our Sport Minister, Malaysian Sports Council and Sport Commissioner to hear our plight and look into this matter with utmost urgency,” he added.

Serians also hoped that the Sport Minister and State Sports Council can hold a town hall meeting with all the swimming associations, clubs and parents in Sarawak to hear their side of the story and resolve the matter with a permanent solution for the sake of the swimmers.