KUCHING: Sports tourism could serve as a viable platform to draw in more tourism dollars for the state.
According to Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) commission member Dato Wee Hong Seng, the ongoing synergy between the government, corporate sector and sports bodies is seen as a catalyst for such development.
“I believe that our Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had this foresight when he combined the portfolios of Youth and Sports with Tourism, Arts and Culture under one ministry, with Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah being the minister in-charge.
“As far as SBBA is concerned, it is our hope that through our events, we would be able to contribute in our own way to the development of sports tourism in Sarawak,” he spoke at the opening of the fourth annual Mr Boulevard/Mr BBS bodybuilding championships, staged at the Atrium of Boulevard Shopping Mall here on Saturday.
Wee, who is also Sarawak Bodybuilding Association (SBBA) president, pointed out that the state government knew about this very potential, as seen during last year’s Malaysia Games where promotions were intensified and sports facilities across the state underwent upgrading.
“Still, the national event was not the sole trigger of sports tourism in Sarawak; many of the facilities had been set up long before that to ensure that this area of tourism would continue to thrive and prosper,” he said.
Reiterating on the tie-up between the public and private sector with regard to sports tourism, Wee said SBBA was fortunate to have great relationships with many corporate bodies such as the Boulevard Group and Borneo Bodybuilding Supplement (BBS).
“We at SBBA are thankful to all of you for your ongoing involvement. I believe that your contribution goes beyond developing this sport; you are also contributing positively to sports tourism in Sarawak.”
Meanwhile, Wee announced that Sarawak’s bodybuilding athletes Buda Anchah, Dr Malvern Abdullah and Awang Azizul Ghani would represent Malaysia at the 51st Asian Bodybuilding Championships in Seoul, South Korea later this month, and also the Ninth World Bodybuilding Championships in Mongolia this October.
The trio of Buda Anchah, Dr Malvern Abdullah and Awang Azizul Ghani would leave for Kuala Lumpur soon to join another athlete there, before proceeding to Seoul this Aug 19.
“We are very proud of them because they are not only representing Malaysia, but also flying the Sarawak flag on the world stage.
“More importantly, I would like to announce that our associate, Sibu Division Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Association (SDBWA) has allocated RM1,000 to each of them to help cover the preparation costs ahead of the Asian and World championships.
“For this, we wish to extend our appreciation to SDBWA president Chia Soon Cheong for this generous gesture,” said Wee, who is also the deputy president of Malaysian Bodybuilding Federation.