Sarawak will be eyeing the overall title when they host the SUKMA in 2016 from July 22 to 31.

Sarawak Minister of Social Development Tan Sri William Mawam Ikom who is also the chairman of the organising committee said the state was fully prepared to host and win the SUKMA.

“We will leave no stones unturned in our preparations when preparing our athletes and the various venues,” he told reporters after presenting RM130,000 in grants from his ministry to five associations at his office, here Monday.

“Our new aquatics centre in Kuching is now 80 per cent completed and will be ready for the games and for our team’s training. I will be on the ground to regularly check on the various technical preparations.

“We are ready to spend to hire foreign coaches where necessary. As of now, we are very confident of doing well. This is a mission we cannot fail as the host and the last time we were host was in 1990 when we emerged overall champion for the first time,” he added.

Mawan said 24 sports would feature in the SUKMA, including 19 compulsory and five optional sports, golf included, which would be making its debut at the SUKMA.

“Although the State Sports Corporation has identified various athletes, we are prepared to rope in new potential talent,” he said.

Meanwhile, he also cautioned sports associations against indulging in detrimental internal politicking and bickering instead of focusing on the development of their athletes.

“I have came across several groups from the same sport associations coming forward and claiming they are the better ones. As far as my ministry is concerned we will recognise the group legally set up, elected and recognised.

“We cannot afford to waste government funds. We have thousands of sports associations and non governmental organisations seeking financial assistance year after year,” he said.

He said sports should be viewed as a medium to unite the people rather than to disunite them through internal bickering and infighting. – BERNAMA

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