Top per­form­ing sports to re­ceive more at­ten­tion

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Ting Tieng Hee re­[email protected]­bor­neo­

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.

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