State to ensure athletes have right training, equipment

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin (right) showing his Malaysia Book of Record's certificate in recognition of being the first Malaysian to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games (powerlifting) to Fatimah (seated right and others). Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Sarawak will ensure that state athletes will have the right training and equipment to enable them to compete in upcoming tournaments.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said this is important to ensure they would be at the top of their performances in the competitions.

She said this at a press conference after receiving a courtesy call from the State Paralympic powerlifting team at her office in Baitul Makmur 2 building here, today (Sept 22).

“Congratulations to Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and Jong Yie Khee for achieving their goals and winning the gold and silver medal respectively for the country, particularly for Sarawak.

“Their achievement in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic has been touching and emotional as well. Once again, on behalf of the state government, congratulation to both of them,” added Fatimah.

Sarawak team coach Jamil Adam told Fatimah that five Sarawakian powerlifters including Bonnie and Jong would be competing in the Para Powerlifting World Cup in Georgia in November.

The powerlifters will have centralised training in Kuching at the State Youth and Sport Complex.

“With the approval from the National Sport Council for them to train here, it is our responsibility to ensure that they get the right equipment as well as the right environment.

“It is a huge responsibility as we are helping them in improving their performance in sport. Therefore, we will review the training venue together with the Sarawak Sport Corporation to see what need to be done at the centre,” she said.

Fatimah also commended the para athletes as well as the team’s coach for their sacrifices to train and work hard in their chase for glory.

She noted that the resilience of the para athletes, fighting spirit, confidence and their clear goal of winning were exemplified in their achievements.

“They have sacrificed a lot to achieve this and compete in the tournament with series of trainings and work out to improve their form and weaknesses with the coach’s assistance.

“The support from their parents is also important for them. Without the support, they would not have accomplished the feat,” she said.

Fatimah noted that Sarawak is the powerhouse in para powerlifting, and was confident the state team could win the event in the next Malaysia Games (Sukma).

“I am also very hopeful that in the next Sukma game in Johor, we will be the powerhouse the para powerlifting event. Other than para powerlifting, I also hope that our para athletes will win in their respective sport to continue our winning streak,” added Fatimah.

Also present at the press conference were Community Welfare Assistant Minister Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Women, Family and Childhood Development Assistant Minister Datuk Rosey Yunus.

Fatimah (seated centre) with Rosey (standing third left) and Francis Harden (standing fourth left), and others posing for a photograph after receiving a courtesy call from the State Paralympic powerlifting team at her office in Petra Jaya. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni
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