Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sports school plan very much alive

by Simon Ingka Crown

State government not sitting back and doing nothing, will study proposal thoroughly before taking next step

KUCHING: The proposal to build sports schools based on the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar concept may not materialise any time soon but the state government is not sitting back and doing nothing about it either.

Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom assured that there would be a thorough relook at the proposal before any decision was made.

“We will review the performances of all the sports. If they warrant the building of sports schools, then the state government will take the appropriate action.

“Of course, if there is proof that a particular sport in the state can produce Olympians, we’ll certainly take a note of it.

“In fact, a few of our athletes are products of the training systems in these sports schools,” he told reporters after launching the Sports Development Master Plan Study for Sarawak to the year 2020 here yesterday.

He noted that so far, sports participation in the state had been tremendous and the progress in sports development would be continued, and geared, this year in particular, towards Sukma XIII in Melaka.

He also disclosed that exchanging programmes with overseas consultants on sports development was being introduced to ensure effective long-term development of sports in the state.

“Towards this end, all the sports associations will help monitor the performance and progress of the athletes. It’s all about developing a conducive sports environment covering junior sports, mass sports, elite sports as well as the athletes, coaches, umpires, officials, administrators, facilities and technology.”

Earlier, Mawan said there was an important need to put in place a regime like Sports Development Master Plan Study in Sarawak.

He pointed out that such a programme would definitely be one of the big contributions to help the state become a sports powerhouse in the region by 2020.

At this juncture, he revealed that for the continuity and progress of sports development in the state, the state government had appointed Australian Business Centre (ABC) as the main consultants to draw up a long-term (2010-20) development strategy.

“It will also incorporate suitable action plans with achievable targets for immediate implementation,” he added.
According him, the Master Plan project would include the identification of the strengths and the weaknesses of high performance sports in Sarawak.

“The plan will provide the standard guideline for maintenance, management, promotion and marketing of all existing stadiums and sports facilities in the state, and include greater grass-roots participation, especially among schoolchildren.”

Mawan was informed that over 40 local sports associations had responded promptly to the initial comprehensive survey questionnaire from the ABC team to audit the current sports situation in Sarawak.

He hoped that sports development would not come solely under the ministry or the state government but would instead be a collective responsibility of everyone wishing to see such development taken to the highest level in Sarawak.

“In this joint effort, all sports associations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), coaches, administrators, teachers and sponsors are key stakeholders,” Mawan said.

Among those present were Assistant Minister of Sports Datuk Lee Khim Shin, Assistant Minister of Youth Affairs and Training of Youths Larry Sng, Permanent Secretary to the Social Development and Urbanisation Ministry, Soedirman Aini, senior consultant Jim Ferguson and director of ABC, Rodger Chan.

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