We welcomed the decision by the Malaysia Games (Sukma) Supreme Council in setting March 6 to 14 next year as the new dates for the Sukma XX Johor 2020. Personally I felt that this was the correct decision in view of the current situation where our country is still facing the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarawak athletes can also heave a sigh of relief with the new dates because it gives them more time to train since they are now facing various constraints after having to comply with the Movement Control Order (MCO) which was extended for until May 12.
Looking at how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the country and the various constraints we are facing while the MCO is in force, I think that is a good decision on the new dates for Sukma XX made by the Federal Youth and Sports, Minister Dato Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican after having chaired a Sukma Supreme Council meeting on April 23.
Furthermore, the setting of the new dates was also a right move in view of the athletes who were facing constraints in their training in preparation for Sukma. They are unable to train as normal because they have to comply with the MCO directive from the government and we do not want them to take the risk of being exposed to Covid-19.
However, the new dates would be discussed again in October if there were any changes to the situation. In the same meeting, the council had also agreed to hold the Para Sukma Johor 2020 from Apr 5 to 10 next year.
Another consolation is that athletes who have been listed in the long list before January 2020 are also allowed to participate in Sukma XX and participating states have until June 2020 to make changes of athletes who were injured during training or unable to obtain release letters from their employers or institutes of higher learning.
All contingents are also required to submit their fully completed registration forms with athletes names (shortlist) to the Sukma Johor 2020 Secretariat no later than December 31 2020. With the decision, all athletes and backup athletes will continue with their own training programmes drawn up by their respective coaches during the MCO period.