Sports facilities in Putrajaya must be viewed in the long term and not judged on the present level of use, Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) city services director Datuk Ghani Ahmad said.
Ghani was commenting on complaints that most of the sports facilities in Putrajaya were just white elephants, including the newly-built RM3.48mil Putrajaya Futsal Complex in Precinct 18.
The first event held at the futsal complex was the Rentap Futsal Putrajaya during the Youth Day celebrations in May when more than 1,000 entries were received and since then only a few use the 10 futsal courts and one FIFA-size covered court.
A resident in Precinct 18 said the facilities were hardly used as most of the futsal players preferred to use the two courts in Taman Pancorona where the booking fees were much lower.
The futsal complex is a project proposed and funded by the Youth and Sports Ministry and PPj only executed its construction and now is managing its operation.
“All the courts under Phase One of the project have been opened and more than 500 bookings were recorded from June until the end of last month,’’ he said.
Ghani said PPj expected more bookings during the school holidays and tournaments to be organised by the Youth and Sports Ministry during the same period.
He said for this month alone until Oct 14, PPj has already recorded 212 hours of use involving 1,420 players.
Ghani added that for any development project there were positive and negative aspects and as Putrajaya was a growing township with rapid housing development, it is only a matter of time when such facilities would be fully used.
“We believe more will use the facilities as the population increases,’’ added Ghani.
Ghani said the futsal courts could also be used for volleyball, basketball as well as netball competitions.
As for the Putrajaya Water Sports Complex in Precinct 6, the facilities are only used during weekends and major tournaments.
One of the water sports events held during most weekends is the Wakeboard and Waterski but more must be done to encourage the use of the facilities during weekdays.
Although it had become a venue of several international boat races, the facilities are underused and there is a fear it would turn into another white elephant if the authorities do not encourage use of the facilities.
The PPj is also encouraging youths to capitalise on the recreational facilities at the lake that can be used for water polo, kayaking, jet-skiing and canoeing.