Rep calls for more govt allocations for junior school athletes in Baram


Dennis beats the drum to mark the opening of the games.

MARUDI: An elected representative is calling for more government allocations to allow primary schools across Baram groom and develop their sports talents.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau acknowledges the hardship and challenges faced by many schools in sending their contingents to the annual Baram Zone Primary School Sports Council (MSSR) Games, which enters its 35th edition this year.

“This time, the Games take place in Marudi which is quite far from many schools that are sending their contingents – some contingents take up to nine hours of journey from their schools to Marudi. Many accompanying teachers need a lot of money for the trip, especially for petrol.

“It is difficult for them to obtain sponsorships as there are not many people who have that much money in the rural areas,” he spoke at the opening ceremony of the MSSR meet at the mini stadium here yesterday.

Adding on, Dennis also called upon timber and oil palm plantation companies operating in these rural areas to also chip in to the schools – many of which are only reachable using four-wheel drive vehicles (4WDs) due to the condition of the roads.

On sports, the assemblyman encouraged the primary school athletes to continue being active in their disciplines, reminding them that there are good career opportunities in sports.

“I realise that you and your teachers are facing many challenges in the Upper Baram, but be patient and keep your spirits up.

“Most importantly, as good as you are in sports, you must be good in your academics as well. Be well-rounded – this is our message to all of you,” he pointed out.

Later, Dennis announced minor rural project (MRP) grants worth RM10,000 to MSSR Baram Zone committee, to be distributed equally to its five sub-zones –  Upper Baram, Central Baram, Lower Baram, Tinjar and Tutoh-Apoh.

The three-day event here gathers 579 athletes from 68 primary schools across Baram.

The games kicked off with a marching competition where the contingent from Tinjar Zone was announced the winner, followed by Tutoh-Apoh Zone in second place and Baram Ulu Zone, third.

Baram Education Officer Seripah Azizah Wan Hussain and her deputy Jalong Wan, Marudi District Officer Mackos Sibong’s representative Vanessa Joseph and Baram Headmasters Council chairman Samuel Iwat witnessed the opening ceremony.