Thursday, January 27

Rise above all odds, Fatimah reminds state’s Sopma 2016 athletes

Fatimah (in the middle) with the deaf athletes representing Sarawak at the upcoming Sopma 2016. — Photos by Chimon Upon

Fatimah (in the middle) with the deaf athletes representing Sarawak at the upcoming Sopma 2016. — Photos by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Athletes representing Sarawak in the 19th Malaysia Sports for the Deaf (Sopma) 2016 must rise above all odds and show that they can compete and stand out among the crowd.

Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah gave this advice when addressing the ceremony to hand over the state flag to Sopma Sarawak contingent at the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)  headquarters in Muara Tebas here yesterday.

She urged the deaf athletes to get motivation, inspiration and learn from the victories of paralympians in the recent 18th National Paralympic Games and the Rio Paralympic Games.

Sarawak will be the host of Sopma 2016 which held from Sept 30 to Oct 7.

“We might have budget constraint to send a full team to Sopma hosted by Melaka in 2014. These are the sorts of situation and obstacles we have to overcome together,” she said.

“However, with Sarawak becoming the host this year, we will table the request for RM2.2 million allocation in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (today).

In fact, the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, has agreed in principle,” she added.

Noting the challenges and obstacles these special athletes have to face, Fatimah reminded that it was only a matter of choice – either to give up or face and overcome adversity and be triumphant.

“Create ripples in the very calm lake. Now more and more people are recognising the abilities of special athletes especially with their achievements in the Paralympic games. So now is your turn to show them your extraordinary undefeatable spirit and stand out,” she said.

With Sarawak hosting Sopma, Fatimah urged the athletes to make home ground advantage count.

“Do your best without holding back and achieve better results than the ones we have achieved in Melaka in 2014,” she added.

Meanwhile, the ceremony saw Fatimah hand over the Sarawak flag to chef de mission Abang Samsudin Abang Seruji who then handed it over to Sopma 2014 long jump gold medallist Carries Kepari who will be among the special athletes in the Sarawak Sopma 2016 contingent.

Assistant Welfare and Community Wellbeing Minister Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, MMEA Sarawak Region director First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit, assistant chef de mission from Youth and Sports Department Zaini Abdul Aziz and a representative from State Education Department, Rose Lucy, were present.