Top performing sports to receive more attention
KUCHING: More attention will be paid to sports such as table tennis, squash, badminton and wushu, said Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen.
These sports have been doing very well in the international arena, he pointed out, although they had received little allocations from the government.
“The spor ts scenario i n Malaysia is peculiar. Football is the country’s number one sport and receives the biggest allocation every year.
“And yet in the international arena, we have squash which is performing better than football. We have our squash queen Datuk Nicol David who is nine- time world champion and squash does not receive much allocation,” he remarked in his speech at the Kuching Foochow Association Chinese New Year Gathering and Table Tennis Association of Sarawak Incentives Presentation dinner at SK Chung Hua No. 3 school hall on Sunday.
“Similarly, table tennis has also won Malaysia and Sarawak great honour and glory. Our paddler Karen Lyne Dick created history when ahe became the first Sarawakian to win the women’s doubles bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games last year.
“She is not only the pride of Sarawak but also the pride of Malaysia. She is also the product of many years of hard work, grooming and efforts of the Table Tennis Association of Sarawak (TTAS),” said the Stampin Member of Parliament.
According to Chong, wushu was another sport that did well in the world arena and Malaysia wushu is well known on the world stage.
“This sport and its achievements did not receive much attention from the previous government,” he added.
Chong said under the new Pakatan Harapan government, more attention will be paid to other sports where potential athletes will be groomed into world beaters.
He also announced a grant of RM5,000 to TTAS and assured more will come from him if needed.
“I will specially emphasise to Deputy Sports Minister Stephen Sim that table tennis in Sarawak needs more attention and the allocation be increased,” he said.
A total of RM11,900 in cash incentives including RM2,000 each from Kuching Foochow Association president Datuk Yii Chi Hau and Chong was given to the paddlers.
Meanwhile, TTAS president Michael Teo Kim Huat thanked the State government via the Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) and Sarawak State Sports Council ( MSNS) for the strong support.
“Without the financial support from SSC and MSNS, we were not able to get foreign coaches to train our players and send our players for exposure and tournaments outside the state,” he said.
“On behalf of TTAS, I would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the players and their parents for their commitment and support as well as the financial support from the private sector and generous individuals,” added Teo.
The veteran five- time Grand Slam winner, who has struggled with injury since returning from a doping ban in 2017, showed glimpses of her old ruthless self to dispatch Dart in just 63 minutes.
Dart left the court in tears but Sharapova was unapologetic when asked if she empathised with the young qualifier.
“There is no time for that, I’m sorry to say,” she said.
“( Not) when you’re playing the first round of a Grand Slam.”
The 31-year-old Russian arrived at Melbourne Park as the 30th seed but said she still had the desire to succeed at a tournament she has won once, in 2008, and made the final a further three times.
“There is nothing like going out and playing a match, especially in a Grand Slam, the feelings, the nerves, anticipation of a first round,” she said.
Sharapova, who won her first major at just 17, added that she was feeling positive after “tough times” in her career and was not ready to make way for a new generation.
“The youngsters are coming up and they’ll eventually take our place but not just yet, we want a little more time,” she said.
“I still really have the pa s s i on for this. I enjoy seeing the effort that I’m able to put in, and I think that hard work will always ultimately come to the surface.”
T h e former world
Football is the country’s number one sport and receives the biggest allocation every year. And yet... squash which is performing better... does not receive much allocation. Chong Chieng Jen, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Karen receives the cash incentive from Chong (fourth left) while Kuching Foochow Association president Datuk Yii Chi Hao and (from left) TTAS deputy president Dato Richard Wee, TTAS president Michael Teo and other guests look on.