KUCHING: Sarawak is set to host the first Asian Sport for All Games in 2022, welcoming participants from across the continent to introduce their traditional sports and games to spectators.
The week-long event is organised by The Association for International Sport for All (Tafisa) in collaboration with the Malaysian Sports for All Council (Masfa) and the Sarawak Sports Corporation.
The three parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday (Feb 10) to cooperate on organising the Games.
State Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak won the bid to host the Games in Tokyo last November.
"The state government and my Ministry has been very active in supporting the staging of national and international events which have helped to boost our sporting standards and promote sports tourism in our state.
"In the past few years, we have seen that Sarawak has hosted a number of international events such as the Spartan Race, World Masters Badminton Championships and Asian Masters Athletics Championships, which make our state no stranger to such popular sporting events," he said during the MOU signing ceremony here.
For the Tafisa Asian Sport for All Games, Karim said it would feature hundreds of traditional and cultural sports events.
"Unlike normal sports events which are very competitive and involve only the young, this is something which has elements of tradition, culture and friendship which are part of Sarawak's identity.
"This is the reason why we bid for it and I'm happy we can bring it to our shores," he said.
He also hoped the traditional games of Sarawak's ethnic groups could be introduced in the event.
Tafisa representative Finn Berggren said the inaugural Asian event in Kuching would be a role model for future editions.
"After it, other Asian cities will be welcome to bid for the Games. Sport for all is a resource to create a better world and this is what Tafisa is working for," he said.
The Tafisa Asian Games aim to preserve and promote traditional sports and games, promote active living, encourage cooperation between nations and promote participation in sport for all.
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