KUCHING: The Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC), through the Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS), is hoping to expand its MSNS Elite Swimming Programme to other divisions in the state.
Taking positives from the performance of elite swimmers in the 46th Sarawak Age Group (SAG) Swimming Championship at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre, Petra Jaya last Sunday, SSC chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee said MSNS is planning to send a coach to Miri and later to other divisions like Sibu, Limbang, Kapit and Sri Aman.
“We have currently 27 swimmers under the MSNS Elite Swimming Programme undergoing their training at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre.
“However, we want to have a bigger pool of swimmers to select the best swimmers for competitions like Sukma, National Age Group (NAG) or other local and international events,” Ong told The Borneo Post.
According to him, the MSNS elite swimming programme, which was set up two years ago, is to provide opportunities for talented swimmers to undergo professional training and improve their standard.
Ong, also MSNS director, said he was happy to see that some of the elite swimmers have done very well in the SAG meet.
Two locally trained swimmers Hii Puong Wei and Zachary Adam Tan dipped under the 53s mark in the 100m freestyle.
Puong Wei also dipped under 26s in the 50m butterfly.
The student from SMK Batu Lintang was the best performer in the championship as he set seven new records (50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 100m breaststroke and 400m individual medley) and captured 12 gold, three silver and one bronze medals.
Elite swimmers who also bagged best swimmers awards were Hii Puong Jie, Natasha Teo and Kelly Teo.
“Almost half of the elite swimmers have qualified for the 55th NAG that will be held at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur from March 7 to 10,” he noted.
The MSNS Elite Swimming Programme is headed by Dieung Manggang who is assisted by Raymond Chang Siaw Yang and Henk Visser while a woman coach Happy Sia Cin Cin will be joining the coaching team soon.
Dieung and his assistants will be conducting clinics throughout Sarawak and work together with Amateur Swimming Association of Sarawak and its divisional affiliates to produce more high calibre swimmers and make Sarawak a powerhouse in swimming.