Datin Dayang Mariani Abang Zain

KUCHING: The Special Olympics Sarawak is expected to be held in Sibu next year, said Special Olympics manager, Datin Dayang Mariani Abang Zain.

She said the sport was supposed to be held this year but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are aiming to hold the tournament during the school holidays around July or September.

“However, it is still subject to the current situation of the pandemic because we prioritise the health of athletes,” she said when met after presenting the Excellent Craft Award at Sarawak Craft Council Showroom, Steamship Building Kuching Waterfront recently.

Mariani added that the tournament is to evaluate the performance of athletes who qualify for the national level and the 2023 World Special Olympics in Berlin.

“Currently the team is evaluating and collecting the athlete’s information and data for each category that they will be expected to participate in the world championship later.

“So far, we have collected data for swimming, athletics and football,” she said.

She mentioned the difficulty of collecting more athlete data when many community-based rehabilitation centres (CBR) are closed due to the pandemic.

“Apart from that, the training for the Special Olympics athletes has not started yet and only the Sukma athletes have started their training,” said Mariani.