KUCHING: Sarawak will soon have its own velodrome as well as volleyball and badminton academies in its effort to produce world-class athletes in the three sports, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Besides that, he said efforts would be taken to restructure the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) and Kuching Football Association (KFC) to form formidable teams for national championships and also qualify for Asian club competitions.
“We are expecting a hive of sporting activities and programmes to be supported by the development and establishment of word-class facilities around the state.
“In our endeavour to speed up the development status of Sarawak as a sports powerhouse, the state government has some aspiring plans to establish more sports and recreational facilities throughout the state,” he told reporters after opening the RM163mil Pandelela Rinong Aquatics Centre in Petra Jaya here yesterday.
He added that the facilities would attract more aspiring young sportsmen and sportswomen to participate in various development programmes to unearth the potential of local sports talent.
Abang Johari, however, did not disclose the cost of these projects and when they will be implemented but said he would do his best to find funding for the projects.
The Chief Minister also congratulated Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his team for bringing the Ninth World Para Swimming Championships to Kuching next year, where over 600 competitors from 86 nations will be here from Juy 29 to Aug 4.
Abang Johari added that Sarawak would also establish a Centre of High Performance, similar to that in New Zealand, which has proven to be very effective in producing top athletes in the country.
“New Zealand is a small country with only four million people but they have produced many high-performance athletes and excelled in the Olympic Games by winning many gold medals,” he said.
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