Ministry chips in RM40,000 for arm wrestling competition

Karim (seated second right) receives a courtesy call from Sasa members led by its president Matthew (second left) yesterday.

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts Culture, Youth and Sports has approved a grant of RM40, 000 for Sarawak Armsport Association (Sasa) for the organising of Premiere 101 International Charity Arm Wrestling Competition to be held at Premiere 101 Square on Jan 19-20.

Its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah commended Sasa for their efforts in organising the event and promoting the sport in the state.

“I have to admit that I am new to arm wrestling sport and had not heard of it happening here in Kuching, eventhough I know what the sport is all about,” he said when receiving a courtesy call from Sasa members at his office in Masja yesterday.

Karim said the ministry would support any sports associations in organising tournaments or activities to ensure its success.

“We all do not want to smear the reputation of the state, the ministry and the association and we must all work together to make sure the event is a success,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sasa president Matthew Dominic Barin said arm wrestlers from more than 18 countries have already confirmed their participation.

“They are from Thailand, Russia, China Indonesia and most of Asean countries and other states in Malaysia,” he said.

Matthew said arm wresting is an old traditional sport and before this they don’t have any organisation to oversee  the events in Sarawak.

“We are planning to have more young participants as arm wrestling is a very simple sport. All you need is a table and two opponents. But they must have proper technique to avoid injury,” he said.

“We started with schools or higher institutions to attract new members.

“We believe with the support from the ministry, we can move on further,” he said.

Mathew, who was pleased with Karim’s comments, said Sasa had organised many events since 2016 with three major tournaments in the pipelines.

Sasa is planning to organise Gala City International Arm Wrestling Competition in July, Chief Minister Cup in November and arm wrestling World Cup competition in 2019.

Sasa has about 6,000 members throughout the state and Kuching has the most with over 3,000 members, he said.

Also at the courtesy call were Sasa deputy president Stephen Kee and Ministry Head Of Sport Section Officer Zul Usup.

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