Perak Lawn Bowls Association (PLBA) and the Perak Chief Minister’s Challenge trophy triples bowls championship, received a shot in arm for the future.

Chief Minister of Perak, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faisal Datuk Azumu, who attended the opening ceremony of his Challenge Trophy triples bowls championship yesterday morning at the Perak Lawn Bowls Arena and officially declared it open, pledged his continued to support PLBA and increase the total prize from this year’s RM34,000.

Jointly organised by the PLBA, with the State Government of Perak, Ipoh Municipal Council and Perak State Sports Council, the tournament has 48 teams comprising of states, clubs and six countries competing.

The six countries competing are Hong Kong and India who have fielding two teams and China, Thailand, Korea and Singapore who have one team each.

This competition which was initiated by the Chief Minister of Perak, offers the highest champion prize money ever being offered in the sports of bowls – total of RM34,000, with the champion bagging home RM10,000.

“I am very impressed with the work of PLBA to promote lawn bowls and the organization of this championship which has now turned into an international event,” said Ahmad Faisal in his address this morning.

“I was invited to the Taming Sari Open championship last year and had my first taste of lawn bowls too. I liked the game because it had a calming effect and was a good avenue to release stress. I was also impressed because it was a family game.

“But when I saw the prize money offered was not substantial for teams who spent quite a bit to compete, I told PLBA to organise this championship with a Challenge trophy and a bigger prize money offered.

“But I did not know that this championship was going international and attracted teams from all over Malaysia including Sabah and Labuan,” said Ahmad Faisal who had delayed an important meeting in Kuala Lumpur this morning to be present and lend his support to PLBA.

“I now pledge to increase the prize money for next year and hope to see the championship grow even bigger with more foreign countries especially our Asean friends,” declared Ahmad Faisal without disclosing the amount he was going to increase.

Ahmad Faisal also told Perak Sports Council deputy director, Mazlan Mohammad, who was present, to give more support to lawn bowls in Perak.

“PLBA under president Tengku Datin Seri Noor Hazah AlHajjah, together with her Council, are indeed doing a great job in promoting and developing the sport. They deserve all the support they can get.

“We want to see Perak become a powerhouse in lawn bowls and see more national players coming from our State. “I urge other sport associations to emulate PLBA to work hard and organise competitions, especially international championships because it will automatically uplift the performance of athletes and plays a key role in development of any sports.”

Noor Hazah was elated with the support from the Chief Minister and vowed to work even harder to promote the sport even more extensively and make the Chief Minister’s Challenge trophy championship more attractive and challenging with more foreign teams’ participation and a bigger number of teams from all State in Malaysia.

“We are glad that the Chief Minister is happy with PLBA’s commitment to the sport and our work, and we will not let him down with his full support given,” said Noor Hazah. Indeed, lawn bowls in Perak is all set to go places and move notches up in their overall standard with the support they are getting and their commitment to the sport.

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