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Board plans to improve facilities at soccer pitch
Published on: Wednesday, June 05, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Board plans to improve facilities at soccer pitch
The Board’s staff noted the gaping holes in the wall of netting behind the goal posts during their inspection of the pitch.
THE Sabah Sports Board plans to improve the facilities at the synthetic football pitch at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex.

A spokesman for the Board said its Engineering Section was assessing the condition of the floodlights, covered drain and netting put up on the perimeter of the pitch.

“This will allow us to address any irregularities involving these fixtures when we have the finances to do so,” he said.

“We have apprised the Youth and Sports Ministry of our intentions. We hope the Ministry will help us to source for a ‘peruntukan tambahan/ khas (special/ additional allocation)’ from the State Government. 

“The Board’s existing funds do not allow for the problems at the pitch to be dealt with properly.”

This action was prompted by feedback from an “avid veteran footballer” about the deplorable state of the amenities at the pitch.

Security tape was put up around the damaged slabs which covered the drain on the edge of the pitch.

SHIM of Likas said the pitch was not properly lit after dark, which had an impact on the wellbeing of those who participated in evening matches or training sessions.

“Many of the floodlights have not been working as they should for the last one year plus,” he said. “Not all the bulbs for the floodlights are functioning.”

He said there was a pole towards the far end of the pitch which only had one working floodlight.

“Proper illumination matters not only for the performance of players but also for their safety. Dim lighting increases the risk of accidents and injuries, affecting both players and spectators.” 

He also spoke out about the torn netting behind the goal posts. 

“The netting is meant to keep the ball from being kicked over the goal post but it has long since failed to do this. The holes not only disrupt the flow of the game but also poses a potential danger to nearby spectators, vehicles and property.

“On many occasions during evening matches the football gets lost in the thick undergrowth of bushes.  It is too dark & dangerous to search for the ball due to the poor illumination from the floodlights.”

He said the bushes behind the goal post closer towards Taman Likas Jaya, desperately needed to be trimmed.

Shim said the sorry state of the netting created a bad impression of the Sports Complex.

“The ‘Liga Suparimau’ matches, for the Under 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 age groups, are held at the pitch every weekend from early in morning all the way till afternoon.  Kids and teens participate in this tournament, with their parents tagging along for support. 

“Videos and snapshots from the matches are uploaded on Facebook and on the ‘Suparimau’ App. The footage and photos with the torn netting behind the goal posts are an utter embarrassment.”

On top of this, he drew attention to the safety hazards posed by the “holes” which had formed in the cement slabs placed over the drain on the edge of the pitch

“I believe football teams and players deserve better conditions. Even trying to ease ourselves can at times be problematic, as the toilet nearest to the pitch often has no running water.”

Shim said it cost between RM250 and RM550 to use the pitch, depending on whether the reservation was an afternoon one or at night.

“On most days, it is fully booked.” 

He could not understand how the Complex justified imposing these charges, when the management was not looking after the amenities at the pitch.

Shim hoped the Board would take a more serious view of what was happening at the pitch and give players a more positive experience when they used this area.

“It would be good if the Board could construct a mini covered/roofed dugout” or “bench” for shelter purposes in the event that it rains heavily or the sunshine becomes too hot.” 

The footballer, who has been using the pitch for “many, many years”, related these grievances to Hotline in writing. A copy of his letter was forwarded to the Board. 

The spokesman said a preliminary investigation was made of the pitch shortly after the Board received this correspondence.

“The two staff who made this check confirmed the damage to the netting and some of the slabs,” he said.

“Security tape was subsequently strung up from sticks placed in the affected sections of the drain to forewarn players of where the holes were located.”

He said the Board’s engineering team was in the process of trying to get to the bottom of the problems with the floodlights.

“Six floodlights have been put up at strategic points around the pitch. Each pole comprises of four lanterns. So, the pitch is supposed to be illuminated by a total of 24 lanterns.” 

He said the Board had since had the long grass and unkempt greenery on the periphery of the pitch trimmed.

Where the water woes at the toilet were concerned, the spokesman said this problem only arose when the strength of the supply was weak.

“If there are a lot of users at the Complex, we will experience a water shortage because there is not enough pressure to push the main supply into our ground tanks.”

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