KUCHING: The biennial Sukan Sarawak (Suksar) will be held in the northern zone (Miri) from Dec 9-14 this year.
The inaugural games was held in 2017.
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister (MOTACYS), Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told a press conference at the old State Stadium office here yeaterday that this year’s edition in Miri will be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Dec 8.
About 1,500 athletes and officials will be involved in the multi-sports event between the four zones of Northern (Miri, Limbang, Bintulu), Central (Mukah, Kapit and Sibu), Western (Sarikei, Betong and Sri Aman) and Southern (Kuching, Serian and Samarahan).
Karim also announced that the 16 sports for competition are athletics, archery, swimming, badminton, cycling, basketball, volleyball, hockey, petanque, rugby, sepak takraw, silat, squash, boxing, weightlifting and E-Sports. The age limit is 19 years old and below.
“SUKSAR is our venue for identifying good athletes who will be selected to join the next Malaysia Games (Sukma).
“We put the eligibility as 19 because it is more or less one year before the next Sukma (age eligibility being 21 and below)”, he said
The venues in Miri for competition in the various sports have been identified as Miri Stadium (athletics), Miri Swimming Pool (swimming), Imperial Mall (weightlifting), Miri Stadium and Coco Cabana (cycling), Tung’s Sports Hall (badminton), SMK Pei Hin (basketball), Miri Indoor Stadium (volleyball and sepak takraw), Kelab Rekreasi Petroleum Miri (hockey), IPG Miri Campus (archery), Petronas Field (petanque), Curtin University (rugby), Giant Permy Shopping Mall (silat), Pei Hin Squash Complex (squash), Permaisuri Mall (boxing) and Eternity E-Sports Arena (E-Sports).
The Minister revealed that 132 athletes or 19 per cent of the state contingent for the last Sukma in Perak were identified from the 2017 Suksar. 14 of them delivered medals.
“We hope in this 2019 Suksar we will be able to identify some to represent Sarawak in the next Sukma in Johor in 2020. We put high hopes in sports development and emphasised Suksar because we want to be the sports power house,” he added.
He also spoke of the potential tourism boost to the city of Miri.
“The supporters and family members from other divisions, some of them will be following their children, to Miri. We foresee when it is 1,500, easily converging into Miri that time, easily 3,000 or more people, when they are more people, the spin-offs for hotels, transportations, food, restaurants definitely will be very good,” he said.
Also present at the press conference were Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, MOTACYS permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Deputy Resident Kuching Tuah Suni, Sri Aman Resident Indit Bangai, Miri Resident Mastapa Julaihi and Sarawak Sports Corporation CEO-cum-Sarawak Sports Council director Dr. Ong Kong Swee.