KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has allocated RM27.13 million to the state’s Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) through the State Budget 2024 to simultaneously manage and develop the sports industry next year, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pix).

Hajiji said that a total of RM20 million from the allocation is for the management and development of high-performance sports by the Sabah State Sports Council; RM5.05 million for sports grants, and the remaining RM2.08 million for development of sports of the masses.

“The state government continues to allocate significant and consistent funding to Sabah KBS to ensure that more sports activities can be conducted and to provide modern sports infrastructure and technology from time to time.

“In addition, this commitment is also to meet the needs of athletes to train more efficiently and compete at their maximum potential,“ he said.

The Chief Minister stated this during a celebration event for the achievements of Sabah athletes at the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games 2023 in Cambodia; the 19th Asian Games and 4th Asian Para Games (Hangzhou,China), at Menara Kinabalu here today.

Hajiji said that Sabah has a vision to produce world-class athletes based on three main thrusts, namely high-performance sports, the sports industry, and mass sports, while also encouraging the people to remain actively involved in sports to enhance health and fitness levels.

The Chief Minister also expressed his joy over the sports programmes implemented by the related ministry, which is always committed to planning comprehensively for the strategic development of the industry.

“I always closely monitor the progress, development, and achievements of Sabah KBS, especially involving the state’s athletes,“ he said.

During the event, a total of 54 Sabah athletes who won medals and brought pride to the country and state at the four international sports events this year received victory incentives totalling RM304,000.

A government contribution of RM91,500 in victory incentives was presented by the Chief Minister to athletes who won medals at the 32nd SEA Games, RM126,000 (medal athletes at the 12th ASEAN Para Games), RM46,500 (medal athletes at the 19th Asian Games), and RM40,000 (medal athletes at the 4th Asian Para Games). -Bernama