MIRI: The Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg declared open the 2nd Sarawak Games (Suksar) at the Miri Indoor Stadium yesterday.
Speaking to the 1,500 athletes and officials he assured that the state government will not hesitate in investing for sports development while pointing to Suksar to unearth local talents so as to uplift sporting standards.
Among the upcoming investment in the state he highlighted stadium complexes and international expertise to help realise the vision of Sarawak as a sports powerhouse.
“We also want to focus on sports tourism where regional amenities are needed,” he added.
“Suksar is the benchmark for athletes’ performance as well as preparation for them to compete nationally in Sukma and even higher. It is a strategic sports platform for Sarawakians to engage further in sports and in making Sarawak as the sport powerhouse,” he told reporters after opening the 2019 Suksar.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah spoke of the growing interest in sports and the need to meet youth demand for sports infrastructure.
He also looked forward to the huge potential that would be unleashed once the various facilities are up.
“Sarawak as a big state is responding to the call for the development of these sports infrastructure including in remote areas. Through this, more athletes will be born that would represent Sarawak in the future,” he said.
The athletes and officials represent 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) in the multi-sports Suksar which will end on Dec 13.
The competitors are taking part in 16 sports: athletics, archery, swimming, badminton, cycling, basketball, volleyball, hockey, petanque, rugby, sepak takraw, silat, squash, boxing, weightlifting and E-Sports.
Also present during the launch yesterday were Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Ministry of Youth and Sports acting permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi and acting Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Yusuf.