KUCHING: Sarawak athletes competing in Sukma XIX in Perak have been reminded to conduct themselves well, keep their focus or be sent home in disgrace.
The advice came from Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah yesterday.
“We don’t want to hear anyone being picked up by the police, get into fights, being reported of disciplinary issues or you will be on the next flight home,” he warned.
In reminding the athletes of their big responsibility in whatever they do on and off the field, he emphasised that their identities were subservient to that of the state which they will be representing.
“Bear in mind that you will be carrying the good name of Sarawak with you and you are the ambassador of Sarawak.
“We don’t want to hear of anything that will tarnish the reputation of Sarawak,” he added.
Karim highlighted this at the ceremony to send-off a 700-member contingent comprising athletes and officers to the Sukma XIX in Perak which will begin on Sept 12 – 22, which was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports who is the chef-de-mission Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Ong Kong Swee as well as assistants chef-de-mission were present.
Most importantly, he urged athletes to keep their focus as they have spent the past two years training and getting ready to re-capture the overall Sukma champion crown which Sarawak last won in Perak in 1994.
“Sarawak will compete in 29 sports and our target is 77 gold medals. Everything rest on your shoulders now to realise the dream of Sarawak so give nothing but your best with the ‘agi hidup agi ngelaban’ spirit.”
Karim noted that the athletes will face a lot of challenges and various issues during the competition which will have an impact on their motivation and focus.
“Take good care of everything, both your health, diet and belongings including your handphone, because any disruption will cause you to lose focus and this has happened before,” he said.
“Do not let this happen or else many years of preparation will go down the drain. Get yourself motivated, be ready, keep your focus and bring home the golds and Sarawak will be rejoicing. We are ready and 77 gold medals are our aim,” he added.