SIBU: Sibu Division Rugby Union (SDRU) has intensified efforts to find a piece of land as they seriously pursuing the dream of having a permanent rugby field here.
Its chief coach Michael Ting, said they are looking at vacant lots along Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce Road and Old Airport Road.
Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah recently suggested that SDRU liaise with Sibu Land & Survey Department to find a suitable location for the purpose.
Speaking when officiating at the opening of the Br Albinus Rugby Challenge Cup here, the minister pledged to give all the assistance once the land is identified.
At the function, he also announced a grant of RM30,000 from the MRP fund and RM10,000 from Sarawak Sports Corporation for SDRU to organise its activities.
Ting, meanwhile, said SDRU is eager to have its own rugby field.
“We want to have a pitch we can call our own rather than using the fields at SMK Sacred Heart or Stadium Tun Zaidi.”
On the sport, he said rugby used to be known as a men’s sport, but now it has evolved into a new dimension with women also taking part in rugby actively.
During the recent 10-a-side Br Albinus Cup, the women’s category was participated by eight teams.
A record number of 34 teams competed in the three-day tournament divided into three categories. The other two were Men’s Open and Boys’ Under-18.
SDRU patron Dato Bartholomew Wong, on the other hand, said the game of rugby is gradually regaining popularity in Sibu.
“This spells the need to have a proper rugby field. And we’re hoping to have a field big enough to accommodate two international size rugby pitches.
“For the growth of rugby in the central region of Sarawak, we need to engage the private sector,” he suggested.
He said with concerted effort, there is no reasons why the central region cannot return to its glorious past of being the rugby powerhouse in the country in the 1980s.