MIRI: Sarawak plans to put up a centre for extreme sports soon in Lundu, about 100km from Kuching.
Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom, who disclosed this, said his ministry was focusing on the economic potentials of popular extreme sports to boost sports tourism in the state.
“It is part of efforts to make Sarawak the sporting powerhouse in the country,” he told The Borneo Post.
Mawan said he had spoken with Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on the plan, adding that his ministry would further pursue the proposal to locate the centre in Lundu where not only extreme land sports could be held on the beach but also jet-ski championships in the surrounding seas.
According to him, his ministry will help organise drag racing or sprint test competitions, popular among the youths in Miri, by channelling grants to the organisations or associations involved.
He noted that Miri had its own venues for extreme sports such as sprint tests at Lutong old airstrip and cub prix at Tudan go-kart track which are among the few sports tourism attractions to draw visitors from Brunei and other Asian countries.
At the same time, he added, these events would open up business opportunities for the people, including sales of extreme sports gear and equipment, apart from workshops for maintenance and repair of extreme sports facilities.
Mawan said the appointment of Datuk Lee Kim Shin as Assistant Sports Minister was “very timely” for reinforcing the state’s efforts to develop extreme sports like cub prix, motocross, sprint test, jetskiing and paragliding.
He described Lee as an “energetic sports enthusiast” who would definitely be an asset in preparing Sarawak for future Sukma.
“Moreover, Sarawak plans to bid for the 2014 Games and if successful, we would probably propose to include extreme sports in the programme.” Mawan assured that although a centralised venue for extreme sports had been proposed in Lundu, extreme sports facilities in the other divisions, especially Miri, would not be neglected.
“In fact, the management and development of all sports facilities in the state will be further consolidated,” he added.
He said Sarawak also planned to secure the services of more foreign coaches, including those from Bosnia.