KUCHING: The move to establish a sports museum here in Sarawak has received warm response from state politicians, sports officials and sports personalities alike.
The sports museum was the brainchild of The Borneo Post and the fi rst of its kind here.
According to Assistant Minister of Youth Development Abdul Karim Hamzah, it is timely that the state finally has a sports museum to celebrate and honour the sporting heroes of Sarawak.
He commented that the idea of a sports museum is very much welcomed and congratulated The Borneo Post for coming up with the initiative.
It will be a useful source of inspiration and reminder for the generations to come on the important landmarks in Sarawak’s sports history.
“The sports museum is the place for us to keep our rich sporting history for the younger and later generations to see.
In this case, the Sarawak Sports Museum would be a place for our present and future generations to see who has contributed to sports glory and bring up the name of Sarawak in the national and international stage,” he said.
He added that he is sure that not many of the current youths knew the legendary Sarawak sports personality like Kuda Ditta, Balang Lasung, Terence Janting, James Yakub, Gladys Chai, Awang Mahyan and even Watson Nyambek to name a few.
The contribution of these great sportsmen and sportswomen should never ever go unnoticed.
Abdul Karim continued that through the proposed sports museum, all Sarawakians can relish back and highlight the contributions of the former state athletes, some were even Olympians.
He too added that not many in Malaysia are aware that Sarawak had sent a contingent to international sports competitions before the formation of Malaysia.
Looking to the future, Abdul Karim continued that the sports museum can also become a place to showcase the achievements of Sarawak’s later years and current stars like Azlan Iskandar, Pandelela Rinong, Daniel Bego, Bryan Nickson Lomas or the like of international go-kart racer Freddy Lawan, are just examples to name a few.
Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi also welcomes the move in creating a sports museum for the state.
During an interview with thesundaypost yesterday, he commented that it is a positive move by the state government in recognising the efforts and contributions made by the state’s sportsmen and sportswomen.
“Sarawak has numerous high calibre sports personalities even before Merdeka and it’s timely to engrave their names in a sports museum for the information of the public especially the younger generations.
The stories of their accomplishments should never go untold,” he commented.
Abdul Rahman continued that the state should emulate the move by developed countries like Australia and Germany who gave emphasis on sports.
The achievements of their sportsmen and sportswomen are archived in sports museums and are considered national treasure.
This becomes a source of pride of their nation and an inspiration to up and coming sportsmen and sportswomen.
Meanwhile, Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS) director Francis Nyurang Ding has also given his thumbs up to the idea of a sports museum.
According to him, the sports museum should inspire the current and later generations of state athletes to do their best at their respective sports event in order to carve their names into the Sarawak sports hall of fame.
“With permission, the MSNS will help in contacting and tracking the family members of the former athletes and provide the necessary information to help building the sports museum.
We will also supply the museum with sports equipments used by the former athletes,” he said.
Current state sportsman like international go-kart ace Freddy Lawan remarked that he was more than willing to loan his medals, trophies and even his go-kart to help in making the sports museum a reality.
To him, to be a part of the Sarawak sports museum is indeed a privilege.
Jahar Nor, a former state and national athlete/ footballer who represented Malaysia in the old 1973 SEAP games (now known as SEA Games) remarked that if the sports museum is to be formed, priority must also be given to athletes who have passed away.
They are the ones who must be remembered most as they are no longer around to tell their tales to future generations.
“It is about time that the (sports) museum is to be constructed.
A sports museum is enough to remember the sacrifices of the former athletes for brining glory and fame to the state,” he added.
The plan to create the Sarawak sports museum has been accepted and greatly supported by the Senior Minister and Minister of Social Development Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom after receiving the proposal from The Borneo Post last Wednesday.
According to him, the sports museum is in line with the long term planning of his ministry.