Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Federal Govt Committed To See Young Athletes In International Arena - Khairy

KANGAR, May 26 (Bernama) -- The leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is committed to continue seeing more of the country's young athletes in action in the international arena, according to Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said organising the Malaysia Games or Sukma was geared towards this objective.

He said apart from Sukma, various other sports development programmes were also launched to produce athletes to shoulder the country's challenge at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and also the Olympics.

"Young athletes should be bold to meet challenges to be great champions," he said in his speech for the opening of the Sukma XVII here tonight.

The text of his speech was read out by his deputy, Datuk M. Saravanan.

The Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail opened the Games.

According to Khairy, many of the nation's leading athletes were products of the Sukma, including Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Datuk Nicol Ann David, Shalin Zulkifly, Azizul Hasni Awang and Pandalela Rinong.

He also commended the Perlis government for successfully hosting the Sukma despite having limited resources.

"The objective of organising Sukma is not merely to win medals but also as a platform to produce athletes with the spirit of sportsmanship.

"I hope the facilities provided will be fully utilised to train athletes to achieve the highest level and not to let them become white elephants when Sukma ends," he added.

Meanwhile, Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man in his speech said the state government was honoured to be able to host this edition of the Sukma.

He said the fighting spirit shown by the national squad in the Thomas Cup final in New Delhi last night although they lost 2-3 to Japan was something all Sukma athletes should emulate.

"The spirit they (Thomas Cup squad) showed is a good example for the Sukma athletes. We want to see Sukma athletes show their true capability because this Games is a launching pad for them to strive to reach greater heights," he said. Perlis.

The 2014 Sukma Perlis is offering 1,265 medals with 365 gold medals in 24 events.

-- BERNAMA

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