KUCHING: The state government will come up with a sports development plan for disabled athletes to maintain its dominance in Paralympic games.
The state has been the national champion in the Malaysia Paralympic games 12 times and Kuching was the host of the last Paralympic games.
Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the state government will have an officer looking into sports and games development specifically for the disabled.
“We need a sports development plan to ensure that we will continue to be the champion state. We need to provide training programmes and coaches.
“We must continue to search for new talents and develop present talents with the right coaches,” she said during an incentive presentation to winners of the Special Olympics interstate bowling tournament at her office on Monday.
She said the disabled athletes should be given opportunities to develop their talents and interest in the sports field, adding that they should have the same kind of opportunity as able athletes.
“I encourage parents with disabled children to send their children to school or the Community Rehabilitation Program.
“This way, they can enjoy their basic rights to education.
“With registration with the Community Welfare department, we would be able to scout for fresh talents,” said Fatimah.
At the recent Special Olympics interstate bowling tournament in Penang, eight athletes brought home nine gold and five silver medals for Sarawak.
Kuching bowlers Muhd Zul Adly and Nur Syawani won the best male and female bowler awards with 831 points and 765 points, respectively.
Zul Adly won gold in the boy’s single category in addition to obtaining gold in the boy’s double category with Wan Mohd Alizuan.
Nur Syawani, Winnie Wong, Erra Naga and Asyikin Farhana won gold medals for G1, G3, G5 and G7 categories, respectively.
Led by head of delegation and Special Olympics Kuching president Datin Dayang Marian Abang Zain, the eight bowlers were selected from Kuching and Sibu to represent Sarawak for the competition against athletes from Selangor, Kedah, Perak, Pahang and Penang.
Fatimah congratulated the bowling teams for their victory and presented the winners with incentives provided by the Special Olympics Sarawak for their achievement.
The athletes will also compete in the upcoming Sarawak inter-division bowling competition in Sibu from March 3 to 5.