KOTA KINABALU: Some RM27mil has been allocated by the Sabah government for the progress and development of sports under the 2023 state Budget, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The Chief Minister said the allocation also covered sports science studies with Universiti Malaysia Sabah, the state’s premier learning institution, and related agencies.
The Sabah government, he added, had also allocated RM21.6mil for the repair of sports complexes including youth arenas throughout the state to ensure that sports facilities and hostels were in good and conducive condition.
Subsequently, he said, the government hoped that more sports activities could be carried out with the funds provided besides providing modern sports infrastructure and technology to meet the needs of athletes to train more efficiently.
"The government, through the Sabah State Sports Policy, strives towards the formation of a sports culture and improving the health of the people by providing equal opportunities to all levels of society who aim to achieve excellence at the international level," Hajiji said.
The Chief Minister said this in his speech delivered by Sabah Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ellron Angin during the victory incentive presentation ceremony for Sabah 2022 Malaysia Para Games (Para Sukma) athletes at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here on Thursday (Feb 2).
Hajiji said the state government remained committed towards the development of sports and athletes in the state.
In relation to this, he hoped more younger Sabahans would take part in sports, adding the development of youth through sports was also among the state’s main agendas in creating a harmonious, tolerant and united society.
Meanwhile, on the success in the 2022 Para Sukma, Hajiji paid tribute to the Sabah contingent which for the first time ever emerged as the overall champion in the games.
To bring home 54 gold, 36 silver and 35 bronze medals was something to be proud of as this exceeded the 40-gold medal target set earlier, he said.
He said the success qualified the athletes, coaches and team manager to receive incentives that amounted to a total of RM526,100.
The athletes received RM405,700 while the coaches took home RM98,400 and the team managers took RM12,000 in incentives.
According to Hajiji, the athletic team was the most outstanding during the games after contributing 30 gold, 18 silver and 17 bronze medals.
This enabled them to receive the highest amount of incentives worth RM262,200, followed by the swim team with incentives worth RM128,900 and table tennis worth RM64,100.
"Hopefully, this incentive will boost their enthusiasm to continue to achieve more success for themselves and the state and make Sabah proud.
"I will continue to provide the best support in developing sports and to produce more athletes to represent Sabah in the future," he said.