SEMATAN: Sarawak are determined to become the overall champions again in Sukma XIX to be held in Perak from Sept 12-22.
Assistant Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan said this will be the best chance for Sarawak to regain the crown that had eluded them for 20 years after Sarawak last won in three consecutive Sukma in 1990, 1992 and 1994.
“We missed the chance to win the championship in 2016 where we lost to Selangor only by three gold medals.
“This time around I want to see Sarawak be the champions,” he told the athletes and officials at the opening of the Sukma XIX Athletes Camp at Pueh Youth Camp here yesterday.
A total of 380 athletes are attending the camp themed “Juh Kepong Emas” (Go For Gold) in three batches, with the first batch of 114 athletes from June 30 to July 2, second batch of 166 from July 2 to 4 while the final batch of 100 will attend the camp from July 4 to 6.
It is aimed at motivating, building and further enhancing team work and spirit as well as preparing them both physically and mentally for the challenge ahead in Perak.
“I believe that we can do it (win Sukma XIX) we must work very hard to achieve this target.
“We must be confident but not over confident and we must aim high.
“I hope you can achieve more than your target and we are maintaining the incentives for those who win medals in Perak.
“The incentives are RM5,000 for the first gold, RM7,000 for the second and RM7,000 for subsequent gold won while it is RM750 for the silver and RM500 for each bronze won,” added Snowdan who is the Sarawak Contingent chef de mission.
Later in the press conference, Snowdan said the gold medalists in this Sukma who are eligible for the next Sukma will receive a one off equipment allowance of RM500 and a monthly allowance of RM400 while the silver and bronze medalists shall receive monthly allowance of RM300 and RM200 respectively.
“We will be focusing on winning more golds in our strong sports such as taekwondo, wushu, bowling, weightlifting, silat and athletics and only by winning more golds we can achieve our 77-gold target to be crowned the overall champions,” he stressed.
“I have very high confidence and hopes in our athletes because they have trained very hard and undergo a lot of intensive training.”
The Balai Ringin assemblyman said Sarawak’s strategy is to know the strengths of its opponents and to display the “Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban” spirit to intimidate them.
“Let’s extend our battle cry “Agi Idup Agi Ngeleban, Siapa Juara Kita Juara”, and remember that we are feared by our opponents,” he said.
Sarawak will be sending a 700-strong contingent including athletes and officials and participate in all 29 sports in Perak.
The events are archery, athletics, aquatics (swimming and diving), badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, football and futsal, golf, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), handball, hockey (men’s and women’s), judo, karate-do, lawn bowls, muay, netball, pétanque, rugby, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, silat, squash, taekwondo, tenpin bowling, weightlifting and wushu.
Also present were Zul Usop, representative of Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Sarawak Sports Corporation CEO Dr Ong Kong Swee and Pueh Youth Camp principal Kaspuandi Baie.