TEN sportspersons from Penang, including two para athletes, were awarded RM89,300 under the Penang State Sports Incentive Scheme (Skimas).
They were medallists at the 19th edition of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and 4th edition of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games in China which were held in September and October.
Among the recipients were national athlete Muhammad Arif Afifuddin Ab Malik, who won a gold medal in the men’s karate-kumite under 84kg category, Ooi Tze Liang, who earned a bronze in the 3m synchronized springboard event, as well as national cyclists Nurul Aliana Syafika Azizan and Zainatul Husniah Zulkifli.
The cyclists secured a bronze medal in the women’s team sprint and women’s 4x100m relay, respectively.
State youth, sports and health committee chairman Daniel Gooi Zi Sen said Muhammad Arif was granted RM24,000 while Ooi and the cyclists received smaller amounts.
“Muhammad Zarif Marican Ibrahim Marican, Muhammad Azlan Alias, Muhammad Zaim Razali and Muhammad Syahir Mohd Rosidi, who clinched silver medals in sepak takraw regu, also received grants between RM2,400 and RM4,800.
“National para cyclist Nur Azlia Syafinaz Mohd Zais, who clinched three gold medals and a silver, was awarded RM30,000, while national para swimmer Zy Lee Kher, who captured a bronze medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4 event, received RM12,000,” he said during presentation a ceremony at Komtar in Penang.
Gooi added that Skimas was established in 2014 to offer special encouragement and recognition for state athletes who achieved success.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow handed over the cheques to the athletes.
He said the state government consistently prioritises the development of its human capital from various angles, including character develop-ment, academics and sports, to cultivate a knowledgeable, civilised and versatile community.
“Currently, the state is enhancing and constructing new sports facilities for futsal, basketball and sepak takraw.
“As outlined in the Unity Manifesto 2023, the state is also committed to establishing an esports academy in each district, and building gyms and youth centres in each state constituency.”
Chow praised the young athletes’ family for supporting them in realising their potential.
“I am aware that parents have sacrificed a significant amount of time, effort and finances to reach this point, but all of your sacrifices have not been in vain.
“I congratulate the athletes for their outstanding achievements and dedication,” he said.
“These local athletes have brought fame and honour to the country on a global stage.”
He hopes that the success achieved this time will serve as motivation for them and others to continue their unwavering commitment to sports.
Also present were Penang Amateur Swimming Association vice-president Joseph Ng Soon Siang, who is also Air Itam assemblyman, Penang Amateur Athletics Association president Datuk Seri Syed Mohamad Aidid Syed Murtaza, Penang Sports Council director Harry Chai Heng Hua, Penang Sepak Takraw Association secretary Ismadi Abu Bakar, Penang Cycling Association secretary Munir Mohamed Ismail and Penang Karate Federation secretary Ho Chan Wei.