Tuesday, March 28

Abd Karim: Boxing, muay thai, petanque and e-sports to be included in 2024 Sukma

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Abdul Karim gestures as he speaks at the press conference. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (March 19): The 2024 Malaysia Games (Sukma), which Sarawak will be hosting, will see 28 compulsory sports and four additional sports namely boxing, muay thai, petanque and e-sports, said Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development Minister said the four additional sports were included in the Games next year following an appeal from the host.

“Apart from the 28 compulsory sports, we will also be have boxing, muay thai, petanque and e-sports for the 2024 Sukma. The host is usually given the leeway to increase and reduce sports.

“The recent meeting in Kuala Lumpur agreed to empower Sarawak to have these additional sports apart from the 28 decided,” he told a press conference after the 38th Premier Sarawak Cup’s prize presentation at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association’s Centre at Jalan Crookshank here today.

The 2024 Sukma Games will mark the third time Sarawak hosts such national sports event, after its first and second time in 1990 and 2016 respectively.

It is understood that the 28 compulsory sports include aquatics, weightlifting, badminton, cycling, gymnastics, golf, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics, sailing and hockey.

Others on the list are table tennis, taekwondo, karate, sepak takraw, tenpin bowling, wushu, football, netball, volleyball and tennis.

Abdul Karim said he had brought up to Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to have the national games spread out in the state rather than limit to Kuching.

The Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister said they aimed at engaging more Sarawakians in the national games.

“We want more Sarawakians to enjoy Sukma, to have the kind of spin-off effects and benefits so that those in Miri, Sibu and other places can support the national event. We want to involve some 100,000 people throughout the event, and such spin-off will be tremendous,” he said.

He disclosed that a meeting will soon be called to discuss the preparation for 2024 Sukma Games.

According to him, the meeting is to touch on details such as identifying sport facilities which require improvement works, be they in Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong or Sibu.

“The first meeting is expected to be called within the next one or two weeks. The preparation (for 2024 Sukma Games) will be huge and a lot of sports facilities need to be upgraded.

“Not just the venues and facilities but also the organisation as well as food and logistics must all be up to standard. The meeting is also to set up committees for not just Kuching but all the divisions,” pointed out Abdul Karim.

Asked how much budget would be required, he said they would need input from the various sports associations which own the facilities.

“The associations need to tell us only then will we come up with the estimates. But we have good assurance from the Premier who says not to worry (about budget).

“This (2024 Sukma Games) will definitely be creating a good difference (for Sarawak), from the perspectives of not just tourism and economy but even contractors doing the repair works will benefit,” he added.