Boosting the talent pool

Visitors gathering by the poolside at the Relau City Sports Complex in Penang.

Visitors gathering by the poolside at the Relau City Sports Complex in Penang.

THE RM21.4mil Relau City Sports Complex, which boasts of Olympic-class swimming and diving pools, is now open to the public.

Penang Youth and Sports Committee chairman Chong Eng said they would now work closely with sport associations to churn out swimming and diving talents.

She said the state fared poorly in diving and swimming events in the last two editions of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perlis (2014) and Sarawak (2016).

The biennial games, which is an Under-21 competition, is touted as the most prestigious multi-sport event in the country.

“With athletics, swimming and diving offering nearly 100 gold medals, we really need to work hard in these events.

“In the last edition in Sarawak, we won only two gold medals from these sports.

“Since we have the aquatic facilities now, we hope to do well by carrying out systematic training for swimmers and divers.

“All the relevant sport associations need to get their act together so we can do better in the 2018 Sukma in Perak,” she said during the opening of the sports complex in Jalan Paya Terubong yesterday.

The sports complex with a space of 8,785sq m (94,560sq ft) is said to be the first in Penang to meet Green Building Index requirements with a silver rating.

The construction was completed in 20 months on Jan 10 this year.

Besides the pools with a minimum depth of 2.2m and measuring 25m by 50m, the complex also has 10 badminton courts, a gymnasium, a dry gym, a shop selling sports merchandise and a cafe.

There are 96 parking spots as well as facilities for the disabled including parking bays and toilets.

It also has 35 bicycle parking bays in a move to encourage people to cycle to the complex.

Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Patahiyah Ismail said the complex was built with a recyclable steel framed structure.

“The roof is made of recycled mild steel too and has a rainwater harvesting system.

“Besides using green materials, the complex consumes energy efficiently with its solar panels,” she said, adding that the complex would host the Asia Pacific Masters Games Penang next year.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who launched the complex, said the dry gym would be equipped with a trampoline for divers to use during their warm-up sessions and body coordination.

He said they hoped to get RM2mil in sponsorship to install electronic touch pads for the swimming pool.

“The pads will enable swimmers’ times to be recorded accurately.

“We have to time the swimmers manually at present,” he said.

Lim said they were proud to deliver a ‘world-class’ sports complex to Penangites, adding that the contractor managed to complete the project within the stipulated time.

Lim said they would build more of such complexes — one on the island and two on the mainland, adding that the sites had been identified.

The swimming pool is now open to the public for free for two months until a complex operator is appointed by the council.

The pool is open from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 9pm daily.

As for the badminton court, the introductory rental rate is between RM12 and RM15 per hour.

Northern Region , sports complex , relau