Important to give athletes moral support, says Johor Exco

JOHOR BARU: It is important to give local athletes moral support, says Johor exco Mohd Hairi Mad Shah.

The state Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperatives, and Human Resources Committee chairman said that the state government is also hoping to get at least 40 gold medals in the coming Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Kuala Lumpur.

“I believe that moral support plays a crucial role in providing positive energy to our athletes, regardless if they are competing at the state, national or international level,” he said.

“Of course, there will be incentives given by the state, but we do not want them to focus on the financial gain. We want to instill pride in them when they are representing the state and the country,” added Mohd Hairi.

He said this when met after the opening ceremony of the Paragon Badminton Cup 2022 at the Just In Sports Centre in Johor Jaya here on Saturday (July 9).

Mohd Hairi explained that Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi have been the strongest supporters of the Johorean athletes and have played an important role in providing the needed support for them.

“I am truly humbled to be entrusted with the sports portfolio and we will do everything that we can to make our state proud,” said Mohd Hairi.

“As of today, we are targeting at least 40 gold medals in Sukma Kuala Lumpur. Any extra will be a bonus for us,” he added, saying that the number of athletes competing will only be set after the National Sports Council finalises the competing games.

Mohd Hairi also informed that he will be leading a delegation from the state government to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to give support to 17 athletes from Johor who will be representing the country.