KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah expressed satisfaction with the preparations made by the state contingent for the coming 19th Malaysia Games (Sukma XIX) in Perak from Sept 11 to 22.
"Sukma XIX is just 22 days away and we must be ready to face the challenges when the games begin,” he said during a meeting with the respective Assistant Chefs-de-Mission (ACDM).
The meeting was also attended by Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, who is also Sarawak contingents Chef-de-Mission (CDM), Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee and 90 participants.
Abdul Karim was also pleased with the initiatives undertaken by the respective sports associations to prepare their athletes for the games which would be participated by over 3,000 athletes nationwide.
He said such initiatives were testimonies to the associations' determination to bring home the gold medals up for grabs as well as to give their athletes the much-needed exposure to boost their confidence and mental strength.
"Our athletes will face all sorts of challenges during Sukma and we must be ready to face them," said Abdul Karim who called on the ACDMs to work closely with the associations in managing the athletes during Sukma.
During the meeting, the minister also shared his experiences in past editions and cited factors which might affect the performance and mental state of the athletes during the games.
He said it was important for the ACDMs and the Sarawak Sports Council (MSN Sarawak) sport coordinators to be vigilant and to monitor the athletes' well-being because the competition venues were in 13 different locations.
“There will be challenges logistically but we will try our best to provide all the necessary arrangements for the well-being and comfort of our athletes,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Ong said MSN Sarawak would set up its secretariat in Ipoh, Perak, as early as Sept 4 but some of the athletes would be there as early as Sept 3 to make preparations and get used to the conditions there.
Football would be the earliest to kick off on Sept 8. — Bernama