- Wartawan Nabalu News
Sabah Govt lauds state’s rugby success at Borneo Sevens 2023
21 March 2023
By Wartawan Nabalu News
SANDAKAN: The Sabah Government is proud of its sports achievements and will continue to support its athletes, especially rugby players who have represented Malaysia at international events, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam.
He was speaking at a dinner to mark the end of the three-day Borneo Sevens 2023 rugby tournament here last night, which saw teams from seven countries compete for the coveted trophies.
Dr Joachim congratulated the winners of both categories, Eagles Rugby Club’s (ERC) Borneo Eagles for the men’s and its fairer team Eagles NZ 7s for the women’s, who each received US$5,000 (RM22,428), a trophy and medals.
He also praised the organiser Eagles Rugby Club for hosting such a prestigious event that showcased Sabah’s rugby talent and attracted international attention.
“This tournament has given our local players a wonderful opportunity to test their skills against very tough opponents, forcing them to give their best on the pitch.
“Our state rugby players are already among the best in our country. Our Sabah Rugby Team has won the prestigious Agong’s Cup Championships five times so far. We are recognised as a rugby powerhouse in Malaysia. Our women ruggers have also been doing well with many of them being recruited to play for other states,” he said.
Dr Joachim added that this tournament had also inspired many schoolchildren who turned up to watch the matches and hoped that they would pick up the game.
He said that in conjunction with this Borneo Sevens 2023, an Elite Coaches Course and a sports medicine course were also organised to help further strengthen the foundation of sports development in Sabah and Malaysia.
He said that the Sabah Government had been very generous in supporting sports and games by providing financial grants to deserving sports bodies as well as incentives to its athletes whenever they did well.
“Keep up your good work and we will continue to support you. Many of our sportsmen and sportswomen have donned the national jersey of their respective sport to represent Malaysia at international events. And they have done very well too.
“Sabah’s rugby players, both men and women, are among those who have played for the country. Such developments are great for local sports in general and the game of rugby in particular,” he said.