KUCHING: Sarawak is expected to become the first state in Malaysia to digitally transform its sporting fraternity and sports facilities management using high-tech smart system which will cement its position as the sports powerhouse in the country.
This was stated by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, who expressed confidence that the vision could be achieved in the near future when the state has a high performance sports centre.
“We are very enthusiastic about this and Sarawak has all the right attributes to achieve its vision of becoming a sports powerhouse in the country where all athletes can have better access to world class sporting facilities locally,” he added.
According to him, Sarawak wants to become the pioneer in setting the standards in sports and games as well as in facility management, athletes and fans’ experience and security aspects starting with having a standardised platform that integrates equipment data, data analyses and technologies using user friendly interface.
He said there are many smart stadiums already developed throughout the world such as Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands; Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, France; Sports City Stadium in Doha, Qatar; Stadion Estadio Chivas in Mexico; Siena Stadium in Tuscany, Italy; Forest Green Stadium in England; Estadio da Luz, Lisbon in Portugal and in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
Snowdan recently led a delegation from Sarawak to South Korea to explore opportunities of working closely with the country’s leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) and infrastructure companies towards developing a smart stadium and high-tech management system.
During their visit there, the state delegation attended a meeting and discussion session with KT Global Business Group at its world headquarters located at 17th Floor, Gwang Hwamun Building in Seoul, South Korea.
The delegation also visited the official venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea where 2,952 athletes from 92 countries are competing in 102 events from 15 sports with newcomers like Malaysia, Singapore, Ecuador, Kosovo and Nigeria also competing.
Also attending the meeting were Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit and chief executive officer of Sarawak Sports Corporation Dr Ong Kong Swee.
Meanwhile, Ong said the visit to South Korea had presented good insights on the present hi-tech technologies and sports science applications which utilise digital technology and Virtual Reality (VR) that may be jointly developed in Sarawak.
Both Ong and Snowdan also had a meeting with experts at Korea Institute of Sports Science including Professor Young Ho Kim, who is the head of Department of Sports Science at Seoul National University of Technology and Science located in Nowon-gu, Seoul.
Among matters that were discussed and highlighted were initiatives for a joint collaboration on development of sports science application in athletes’ performance and also working together with the state government through Sarawak Sports Corporation in the formation of the high performance sports centre in Sarawak.
“There are possibilities for us to work closely with our relevant counterparts in South Korea for mutual benefits and most importantly we must be ready to embrace the digital transformation of sports and games which is the way forward in our vision to become a sports powerhouse,” Dr Ong enthused.