KEDAH now have a new war cry — Satria Kedah — to incite their athletes participating in the 17th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perlis.
Satria Kedah, which literally means Kedah heroes, is bound to thunder in every venue when the 322 athletes in the 22 events take to the field during the meet starting from Saturday to June 4.
It will be the battle call for the Kedah contingent to go on the war path for gold medals.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, who coined the catchword, told the Kedah athletes to prove themselves as champions for the sake of the state.
He urged the athletes to treat the venues as battlefields and give their best to achieve success and rejoice at the sound of the state anthem.
Mukhriz told the gathering during the flag handing ceremony recently at the Wisma Darulaman Square that the State Sports Council had assembled the cream of athletes in the state for an all-out assault in the games.
“Sports is about a dream. A dream of winning in great style on a big stage in front of a large crowd. Several athletes have succeeded in achieving their dreams and have in turn changed their way of lives.
“Such is the power of sports in this modern era. We have in our midst Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nicol David as world renowned personalities. But there is no one in sight to replace them.
“It is incumbent upon associations, government and sports enthusiasts to work hard to produce talented athletes to continue the legacy.
“As such the state government has put into place seven core steps to enhance the standard of sports in the state,” he added.
Mukhriz told the gathering that the seven steps are reactivate the district sports councils; appoint executive secretaries in the respective districts; introduction of an inter-district soccer competition; initiate a sepak takraw in the districts; organise a Kedah games (Sukda) similar to Sukma; establish a sports Science satellite centre in Kedah; and a network with the Education Department and institutions of higher learning.
“Ideally this set-up must target budding athletes in the seven to eight years age-group and tap their talents to nurture them into champions in 10 years,” Mukhriz said.
Parents, officials of state associations, state assemblymen and senior government officers attended the hour-long ceremony.
Past sports stalwarts like Adnan Saidin (sepak takraw), Sajarstuldur Hamzah (sprint queen), Romzi Bakar (athletics), Roshidi Shaari (soccer) and Mohd Zabidi Shariff (sepak takraw) were also present to give the athletes moral support.
Pencak Silat athlete Mohd Afif Rahim took the oath of allegiance on behalf of the athletes after receiving the state flag from Mukhriz.