THE real challenge for the Sukma athletes is regaining their momentum in their respective sports after a pause in the training session, says state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee.

“The most important thing right now is their ability in ‘catching up’ fast during their training sessions as some of them could not undergo training while being at home during the movement control order.

“For instance, in a vigorous sports such as wushu, the athletes need a proper place to train. Wushu athletes need to train on a cushioned floor.

“Since they are now back here for training, I hope that they are able to refresh their skills which I believe they can do it,’’ said Soon when he visited the athletes at the Penang State Sports Council (MSNPP) on June 19.

“I was informed by the wushu coach that the one of the players got injured after the second day of training. Right now, the athletes are undergoing ‘light training’ and slowly will increase the intensity of the training.

The Penang karate kata exponents are back in training.

Soon had earlier in the day visited four other the training venues for athletics at Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MBSP), shooting at Penang Rifle Club, canoeing at Penang Water Sport and Recreational Centre and karate kata at the training centre in Transfer Road.

Soon, who was also accompanied by MSNPP director Harry Chai, said the gym facility at the PSSC has been upgraded or more new equipment have been added at the gym.

“For more than 25 years, new equipment have not being added at MSNPP. So when I became the exco member for sports in 2018, I realised that it is important for us to upgrade the facilities in the gym.

“Gym centre is a necessity for athletes in order for them to stay to fit regardless of the sports that they are pursuing,’’ said Soon.

He said there is a plan to add more equipment at the gym this year.

Soon (centre) and Chai (on Soon’s left) joining the canoeists and officials for a photograph at the Penang Water Sport and Recreational Centre.

Soon, who visited Sukma boxing athletes, said that MSNPP was focusing on the quality of boxers instead of the quantity.

“Boxing is one of the unpopular sports in Penang. Most of the parents are not really keen on sending their children for training as they have some misconceptions about the sports.

“It is not about challenging each other in the ring, but it is about the art of fighting which needs a high self-discipline.

“Last year, two of our boxers won a gold and a silver medal in Sukma. So, we are actually giving emphasis on training up solid fighters not merely increasing the number of boxers.

“Nevertheless, we still need to look for individuals who have talent in boxing and unleash their potential,’’ he added.

Soon (second from right) and Chai (second from left) checking out the mats in the gym at the Penang Water Sport and Recreational Centre.

Meanwhile, Chai said that there are a total of 15 boxers currently training under Johnny Kasiran and a total of 17 wushu athletes under the supervision of their coach Chong Mei Fei.

“I am sure our athletes know how to cope with the situation and bounce back by training harder. They are a bunch of dedicated athletes,’’ said Chai.

At the canoeing training centre in Tanjung Bungah, Soon said the current gymnasium needed some roof and floor repairs and replacements of the old gym equipment.

“Currently, there are 31 canoeists under MSNPP who do their training there, hence, this is why the upgrading works is a must,” he added.

At the karate kata training centre in Transfer Road, Soon said he was proud of the Penang Karate Federation (PFF) for consistently producing good results.

He said it was the hard work of PFF president Datuk Patrick Lim, the coaches and karate exponents who enabled Penang to sweep all four gold medals in the 2018 Sukma in Ipoh. On top of that, virtually all the members of the national kata team came from Penang.

Lee Lee says they are conducting extra training sessions as each session can take in only eight trainees.

The Penang karate kata exponents resumed their training for the first time since the movement control order was implemented on March 18 under the watchful eyes of national coaches Ku Jin Keat and his wife, Lim Lee Lee, today with plenty of zest.

Lee Lee said they had held some online training sessions during the MCO to keep the exponents in shape.

With the new SOPs, they are limiting eight trainees to a session. And depending on the availability of the trainees, they may conduct two or three sessions per day.

Jin Keat, who said the current training at the centre was for high performance athletes, expressed hopes that they could be allowed to coach students again soon at their respective schools.

“We need to go to the schools and groom them for our future team,” said the former Asian Games champion.

Source: Buletin Mutiara