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State minister: Sarawak determined to become sports powerhouse

 | September 3, 2017

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believes such a vision can become a reality simply because the state has done it in the 1990s.

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KUCHING: Sarawak is determined to become a sports powerhouse and we are very close to achieving it, said Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“Sarawak will become the next sports powerhouse in the country sooner than expected if only we continue working hard together to achieve that pinnacle of sporting success.

“Together we can achieve the “greatness in sports” if we can commonly embrace and share that vision together with all of our local sports associations…our sportsmen and sportswomen,” Karim said in his speech at the Sarawak Sports Award 2015/2016 presentation ceremony here last night.

He firmly believes such a vision could become a reality simply because Sarawak had done it in the 1990s when it emerged Sukma champion for three consecutive outings in 1990, 1992 and 1994.

“We were almost there in last year’s Sukma, but the key driver in achieving our sports powerhouse dream is to continue working hard in order to become the strongest and the best there is in the competition arena,” he added.

He said his ministry, through the Sarawak Sports Corporation and Majlis Sukan Negeri Sarawak, had come up with several initiatives to train and motivate local athletes further.

“There is nothing impossible in sports and games. Together we have seen so many new sports records set while the record breakers themselves are still teenagers.

“Even for us in Sarawak, we have quite a number of record breakers, and even in the recent KL SEA Games, we have seen how Sarawak athletes have achieved that,” he said.

In the recently concluded KL SEA Games 2017, Sarawak athletes contributed 13 out of the 145 gold medal haul which Malaysia had bagged in winning the overall champion title.

Karim added that the revival of Sukan Sarawak (SUKSAR) was one of the state government’s initiatives to further boost Sarawak’s position as the sports powerhouse in the country.

The last time SUKSAR was held was 26 years ago. The multi-sports carnival is expected to be the largest in Sarawak and, most importantly, it will serve as a good avenue for athletes to showcase their talents.

In this respect, he called upon all the sports associations to fully support the organising of SUKSAR which is scheduled to be held from Dec 14 to 17, with Kuching as the host.

“It is imperative for us to make SUKSAR a good regular avenue for our young budding athletes to compete among themselves on home soil before venturing further,” he said.

Karim said SUKSAR had the potential to become the playing field for the back up pool of athletes to develop their self-confidence by having more competition exposure.

On the sports awards presentation ceremony, Karim said the awards by the state government through the Sarawak State Sports Council (MSN) was to give due recognition to great sportsmen and sportswomen, individuals, sports associations and related bodies.

He said for the 2015/ 2016 Sarawak Sports Awards, the organiser had received an increased number of entries and nominations from sports bodies, with a total of 160 entries for the 16 different categories of awards.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, representing the chief minister, presented the awards to the winners.


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