Producing more Olympians
Published on: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
By: Larry Ralon
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KOTA KINABALU: Youth and Sports Minister, Phoong Jin Zhe, hopes to see more State athletes becoming Olympians in the near future. 

He said his Ministry also hope to be able to realise this with the support from the private sector. 

The most recent athletes from Sabah who have represented Malaysia to the Olympic Games are swimmers Alex Lim Keng Liat, Alvin Chia and Eileen Nicole Leung Chii Lin from 1996-2008 period.  

“We hope we can produce more Olympians in the near future. This is our great hope and we hope the Sabah State Sports Award ceremony to be held later this month will be able to boost the spirit of all our athletes,” he told reporters after he led a delegation from his Ministry and the award committee members in a courtesy call to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at his office in State Administrative Centre (PPNS) here Tuesday. 

They were there to extend an invitation to Mohd Shafie who will be the special invited guest at the award ceremony to be held at the Magellan Sutera here on Oct 22, which will be officiated by the Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.  


The biennial State Sport Award ceremony is meant to appreciate and give recognition to the State athletes who have performed excellently and made great achievement in their respective field throughout the 2017-2018 period, as well as those who have retired.

Fourteen awards will be presented during the event, said Phoong, adding the Ministry spends RM60,000 for this year’s event. 

“We hope to continuously give encouragement to all our athletes, as we know sports are getting better in Sabah. For example, the State made its best performance in the last Sukan Malaysia (Sukma). This clearly proves that the State is progressing forward in terms of sport and therefore we need to continuously give encouragement to our athletes.

“We hope our athletes will not only give their very best at the next Sukma in Johor and SEA Games, to be held in Manila, but also at the international stage including Olympics,” he said. 

When asked, Phoong said the Ministry is also looking at increasing the amount of incentives to be provided for the State athletes.     

“We are also looking at increasing the amount of incentives for our athletes. Because it has been stagnant for many years. So we are now looking into the scheme, how we can increase and give the best for our athletes who have made excellent achievement at both international and national events. 

“This year’s sport award event is fully organised by the Government, unlike previously where it was sponsored by corporate organisations. 

“So in the coming years, we will try to get sponsorship from the private companies as well so to assist our athletes. At the end of the day, the main purpose is to build up our sport. So we hope we can work together with the private companies.

“We hope the private sector will help us in our continuous effort to boost sports in Sabah, by helping the sport associations in the State,” he said. 


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