KUCHING: Sarawak Sports School SMK Tabuan Jaya will work closely with SMK Kelaka, Saratok to acquire talented athletes for the state’s sports development programme.
“We need a continuous pool of athletes and players who can take over from their seniors after they have ‘retired’ and left school,” said SMK Tabuan Jaya principal Hassan Wa’Gani yesterday.
He was in Saratok to visit the centre for the talent identification programme at SMK Kelaka whose principal Edward Ngellai was a former senior assistant (student affairs) at SMK Tabuan Jaya.
The centre was set up this year through the initiative of Hassan, Edward and Saratok District Education Officer Sufian Ekeram and others.
“Edward has the experience for the talent identification as he was in charge of the boarding students at our school previously,” said Hassan, who is also Sarawak Schools Sports Council (MSSS) technical and sports chairman.
In fact, he has identified two talented players from SMK Kelaka to join his school’s football team next year.
“There are also a few students who are talented in athletics and for those who are unable to come to SMK Tabuan Jaya, they can always study and train at SMK Kelaka first and later come to our sports school,” he added.
“Many students are not willing to come to SMK Tabuan Jaya as they are too young and their parents worry for them. When they have tremendous improvement in SMK Kelaka, we will get them transferred to our school.”
According to Hassan, SMK Tabuan Jaya takes in about 100 students for its form one classes and the main criteria is that they must be good in sports or games.
Those who have represented their respective districts or divisions will be given priority to study and train at SMK Tabuan Jaya.
“We are open to those who are talented in sports and they can come and study at SMK Tabuan Jaya any time,” said Hassan who added that the sports school have four full-time coaches and 12 part- time coaches.
The main sports in the school are football, sepak takraw, track and field (athletics) and netball.
On other sports such as archery, cycling, bowling and diving, Hassan said the sports school will be working very closely with the relevant state sports associations.
After some success with Rohaizat Achop Borhan Janang, SMK Tabuan Jaya will add tennis as a new sport in its sports development programme.
“We will be having a new intake of 10 students including six girls for 2015,” Hassan disclosed.