SIBU: Sarawak who will be hosting this year Sukan Malaysia want to make it the biggest ever and the state has spent RM400mil to build six new stadiums and sport centres.
The games will take place from July 22 to July 31.
State Secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani after visiting the new RM39mil Indoor Integrated Sports Centre yesterday said the amount spent on new facilities is also the highest among the states which had hosted the biennial event.
“We have built an all-new squash centre, hockey stadium, aquatic centre, lawn bowling centre, shooting centre and we have also refurbished the Sarawak Stadium in Kuching, including a new indoor stadium in Sibu,” he added.
The new volleyball stadium in Sibu was contributed by Prudential Insurance Group.
Sarawak last hosted the games in 1990.
“No other state in the country has ever spent that amount of money on sport facilities. Our spending is not just for Sukma but also for our long-term investment to produce good athletes and coaches in the next five to 10 years,” he added.
Morshidi who is also the chairman of the Sukma organising committee added that the state wants to be the best host for the 6,468 athletes from all over Malaysia and also Brunei.
They will be participating in a total of 25 events. A total of 19 events will take place in Kuching and Samarahan, two (badminton and volleyball) in Sibu and three (karate, sailing and sepak takraw) in Miri.
“The games village will be at Unimas while Sarawak Stadium will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremony,” he added.
Meanwhile, State Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state is targeting a total of 72 gold medals.
“We are good in most of the sports except for one. We are expecting gold from volleyball, ten-pin bowling, petanque, aquatic, taekwondo, and wushu.
For some sports like badminton, we might spring a surprise to win the gold medal also,” he added.